Reconstructed viking long house in Newfoundland. Source Wikipedia

The Viking Diaspora

The Viking Diaspora presents the early medieval migrations of people, language and culture from mainland Scandinavia to new homes in the British Isles, the North Atlantic, the Baltic and the East as a form of ‘diaspora’.

The Viking Diaspora
By Judith Jesch
Routledge 2015
ISBN: 978-1-138-02076 – 4
ISBN: 978-1-138-02079 – 5
ISBN: 978-1-138-70833-1

ABSTRACT:

The Viking Diaspora By Judith Jesch - VoverThe Viking Diaspora presents the early medieval migrations of people, language and culture from mainland Scandinavia to new homes in the British Isles, the North Atlantic, the Baltic and the East as a form of ‘diaspora’. It discusses the ways in which migrants from Russia in the east to Greenland in the west were conscious of being connected not only to the people and traditions of their homelands, but also to other migrants of Scandinavian origin in many other locations.

Rather than the movements of armies, this book concentrates on the movements of people and the shared heritage and culture that connected them. This on-going contact throughout half a millennium can be traced in the laws, literatures, material culture and even environment of the various regions of the Viking diaspora. Judith Jesch considers all of these connections, and highlights in detail significant forms of cultural contact including gender, beliefs and identities.

Beginning with an overview of Vikings and the Viking Age, the nature of the evidence available, and a full exploration of the concept of ‘diaspora’, the book then provides a detailed demonstration of the appropriateness of the term to the world peopled by Scandinavians. This book is the first to explain Scandinavian expansion using this model, and presents the Viking Age in a new and exciting way for students of Vikings and medieval history.

This book has its origins in the Viking Identities Network (2006 – 09). The call for proposals prompted the question of whether the concept of “diaspora” could be useful and fruitful in understanding the migrations of the Viking Age and their aftermath. In many ways this book is the fruits of thoughts, which has been developing for nearly three decades by the Viqueen of Viking Studies

TABLE OF CONTENTS:

  • Vikings and their Ages: definitions and evidence
  • The Viking world: geography and environment
  • The Viking Diaspora
  • Gender and Family
  • Cults, beliefs and myths
  • Networks and Identities
  • Bibliography

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

As Professor of Viking Studies at the University of Nottingham, Judith Jesch teaches various aspects of Old Norse and Viking Studies to students at all levels. Her research has always focused on the relationships of language, texts and contexts in the Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia, with a particular focus on runic inscriptions, skaldic verse and historical sagas. She also write on questions of orality and literacy, geography, migration and diaspora, and Scandinavian contacts with the British Isles.

FEATURED PHOTO:

Reconstructed Viking long house in Newfoundland. Source: Wikipedia