The Vikings had an extraordinary historical impact. From the eighth to the eleventh centuries, they ranged across Europe - raiding, exploring, colonizing - and their presence was felt as far away as Russia and Byzantium. They are most famous as warriors, yet perhaps their talent for warfare is too little understood. Philip Line, in this scholarly and highly readable survey of the Viking age, uses documentary sources - the chronicles, sagas and poetry - and the latest archaeological evidence to describe how the Vikings and their enemies in northern Europe organized for war. His graphic survey includes Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Carolingian Empire and its successor kingdoms and the lands of the eastern Baltic. He gives an up-to-date interpretation of Viking approach to violence and their fighting methods that will be fascinating reading for anyone who is keen to understand how they operated and achieved so much in medieval Europe.
Philip Line is an expert on Viking land and sea warfare and on the early medieval history of Scandinavia, and has produced articles on aspects of the subject including a study of Norwegian naval warfare and the role of churchmen in military campaigns. He has also written on aspects of state formation and colonization in Scandinavia and the Baltic, his main work being a large study of state formation in Sweden. He has also studied ancient history and Scandinavian languages.