Vikings: The Battle at the End of Time

Vikings: The Battle at the End of Time available at American Swedish Institute.

Vikings: The Battle at the End of Time

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A superbly illustrated introduction to the famously warlike seafaring peoples of Scandinavia - a civilization with a vivid mythology of gods, dwarves and magic, as well as a heritage of brilliant craftsmanship.

Viking artefacts discovered across a vast geographical range, from Russia and modern-day Turkey to Greenland and North America, bear witness to an artistic legacy that astonishes by its beauty, wealth and diversity. This richly illustrated introduction to an extraordinary people presents an art of immense sophistication, ranging from exquisite gold jewelry to superbly decorated weapons of war, breathtakingly intricate woodcarvings, and vividly incised and painted runestones.

This north European civilization has always had a special place in the popular imagination. The Vikings reflects favorite themes, including: the restless spirit of these warrior-explorers and their extraordinary voyages in quest of trade as well as adventure, booty, conquest and glory; the mighty pantheon of gods and goddesses such as Odin, Freyja, Thor and the mischief-making trickster Loki; the mysteries of the afterlife, including Valhalla (land of dead warriors) and the Underworld domain of the goddess Hel; the warrior cult, which produced the terrifying Berserks (fighters who believed themselves to be possessed by wolves or bears in battle); and the ceremonies and sacrifices that accompanied the magnificent longship burials of the Viking chieftains.