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Hammer and the Cross: A New History Of The…

Hammer and the Cross: A New History Of The Vikings (original: 2009; edição: 2010)

de Robert Ferguson (Autor)

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Presents a history of the Nordic warriors and explorers who plundered and traded their way across Europe, and discusses how their conquests helped spread and enhance accomplishments in the arts, culture, and government.
Título:Hammer and the Cross: A New History Of The Vikings
Autores:Robert Ferguson (Autor)
Informação:Penguin UK (2010), 480 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca

Work Information

The Vikings: A History de Robert Ferguson (2009)


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the history of the Vikings from early depredations and settlements to formation of nation states
  ritaer | Aug 24, 2021 |

I found the reviews of this a bit surprising- I guess it is a bit hard to read at times, with all those names flying around, but given that Ferguson was trying to be a responsible historian, there's not much else he could have done. Viking history has to be seen from the outside, because outsiders were the ones who recorded that history for us. Stranger still are the complaints about his use of the word 'heathen,' a product, I can only assume, of peoples' bizarre inability to understand that when you're writing about the way something is perceived, you have to use the language of the perceivers. As for the goodreads reviewer who said Ferguson is 'obviously a Christian' who somehow has it in for the Vikings... uh... huh?

The central oddity of this book is Ferguson's insistence that 'The Viking Age' of marauding and rapine was a kind of clash of civilizations between Christian and Heathen, in which Charlemagne's violent imposition of the former religion provoked the Scandanavians (who are taken to be not 'primitives', but just as civilized as the nations to their south, east and west) to burn churches and murder priests. It's timely, I guess, but the best evidence he can martial suggests just as much that the Vikes attacked churches because that's where the money was, and murdered priests and nuns to spread terror, which is a pretty sound military strategy. These civilized gentlemen pretty quickly converted to Christianity and assimilated wherever they settled. But note that Ferguson's presentation is perfectly objective; his reading of the archaeological, literary, and dendrochronological evidence, as well as all sorts of other stuff) never overwhelms his presentation of that evidence. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
It didn't wean me off my old Gwyn Jones (A History of the Vikings). Still, I liked that he uses Heathen and Heathendom -- in capitals -- to give conceptual equality with Christianity. Also I thought the specific chapter on 'The culture of Northern Heathendom' was great. The next chapter, 'The causes of the Viking age' was even better: he argues that Charlemagne's religious persecution of the Saxons, and his destruction of their most holy world-tree, directly triggered the first attack on Lindisfarne, as retaliation. In short he interprets the Vikings' attacks on churches as a conscious religious war and an answer to Christian pressures & Christian slaughters. This aspect of the book is important and I say bravo.

When he's on general history, though, I yawn (never did in Gwyn Jones), and he has that journalistic habit of yattering about how things were discovered... a priest in the 18th century had trouble with a loose daughter and so dug up a Viking ship... it's meant to 'entertain', but he only has 400 pages -- tell me about the 10th century. ( )
  Jakujin | Aug 24, 2013 |
Excellent book about Viking history. Ending less than compelling but book is a must-read if interested in the subject. Of course. it was a slow read, at least for me, since I didn't have a basic familiarity with the time period.
  JBGUSA | Mar 31, 2013 |
Robert Fergurson has packed the 300 or so years of Viking history into 450 pages (including notes and index). Jumping between various locations in a more or less chronological order he focuses mainly on the motives for their bloodthirsty reputation, especially in relation to their attacks on monasteries and other Christian sites; their impact on other lands, including settlement of Iceland and Greenland; and the efforts to introduce Christianity to the Scandinavian countries.

There is a lot in this book and it is not the easiest of "popular history" reads but the subject is fascinating to me and Fergurson does enough, for me, in trying to explain the people and their lifestyles. ( )
1 vote calm | Jan 8, 2013 |
Mostrando 1-5 de 11 (seguinte | mostrar todas)
....readers will learn almost everything there is to know, or reasonably surmise, about who the Vikings were, what they did and what became of them after their realms, one after another, adopted Christianity and joined the mainstream of European culture. It's because of them, after all, that we call those oval things we get from chickens eggs (from Old Norse) rather than eyren (from Anglo-Saxon).
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarSeattle Times, Drew DeSilver (Jun 29, 2011)
Ferguson’s scholarly study requires close attention, but the intellectual rewards are plentiful. Provides a significant deepening of our knowledge of the Vikings.
adicionado por John_Vaughan | editarKirkus Review (Jun 29, 2011)
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Presents a history of the Nordic warriors and explorers who plundered and traded their way across Europe, and discusses how their conquests helped spread and enhance accomplishments in the arts, culture, and government.

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