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The Vikings From Odin to Christ Martyn Whittock, Hannah Whittock

22 Jun 2018
258 pages: 130 x 198 mm


The forgotten story of the ‘Christian Vikings’ We are all familiar with the fierce pagan warriors that burst out of Scandinavia during the eighth century, plundering, ravaging and shedding blood wherever they went. A lesser-known fact about these infamous pillagers is that the majority converted to Christianity in the centuries that followed. In England, children of the Vikings who had martyred the Christian king of East Anglia minted coins extolling his holiness. In Normandy the pagans became loyal supporters of the Catholic Church. In the east the former raiders founded the first Russian state and converted to Orthodox Christianity. Martyn and Hannah Whittock suggest that the Vikings had as much impact as converts as they did as deadly marauders. So how and why did this radical transformation happen, and what is their legacy today?
Martyn Whittock graduated in Politics from Bristol University in 1980. He taught history for thirty-five years and latterly was curriculum leader for Spiritual, Moral, Social and Cultural education at a Wiltshire secondary school. He is a Licensed Lay Minister in the Church of England. He has acted as an historical consultant to the National Trust and English Heritage. He retired from teaching in July 2016 to devote more time to writing. He is the author or co-author of forty-seven books, including school history textbooks and adult history books. The latter include: A Brief History Of Life in the Middle Ages (2009), A Brief History of the Third Reich (2011), A Brief Guide To Celtic Myths and Legends (2013), The Viking Blitzkrieg AD789-1098 (2013), The Anglo-Saxon Avon Valley Frontier (2014), 1016 and 1066: Why The Vikings Caused The Norman Conquest (2016), Norse Myths and Legends (2017), When God Was King (2018), The Vikings: from Odin to Christ (2018). The last two published by Lion Hudson. Also co-written with his daughter, Esther, is Christ: The First Two Thousand Years (2016). The Story of the Cross is their second collaborative venture. Both books are published by Lion Hudson.|Hannah Whittock was awarded a First in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic Studies and an MPhil in the same period of history by Cambridge University
“This is a stimulating and accessible approach to the Viking Age. Focusing on Vikings as Christian rulers and their followers opens up the question of just what we mean when we think of ‘Vikings’. Violent barbarians of legend have their place in this book but the authors look deeper at what it meant to live and prosper in early medieval societies, taking the ‘end’ of the Viking Age beyond where it is often assumed to be and ensuring that the story is told in terms which make it a truly international one.”

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