Thoroughly updated and with a new foreword The Viking Age is shot through with the spirit of adventure. For 300 years, from just before AD800 until well into the eleventh century, the Vikings affected almost every region accessible to their ships, and left traces that are still part of life today. Far from being just wild, barbaric, axe-wielding pirates, the Vikings created complex social institutions, oversaw the coming of Christianity to Scandinavia, and made a major impact on European history through trade, travel, and far-flung consolidation. This encyclopedic study brings together the latest research on Viking art, burial customs, class divisions, jewelry, kingship, poetry, and family life. The result is a rich and compelling picture of an extraordinary civilization.