Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Hammer and The Cross, Robert Ferguson

This book’s full title is The Hammer and The Cross, A New History of the Vikings. There is a good review of this book at The Sunday Times.

The era covered is from the late 8th century when Viking raiders suddenly burst upon the shores of Western Europe and "roughly speaking all the Scandinavian peoples were Heathens" until "roughly the 11th or 12th when "roughly speaking all the Scandinavian peoples thought of themselves as Christians".

The Vikings felt that their culture was under threat and lashed out at the Christians who were threating their culture. The Germans started the trouble with the trying to forcibly convert the Saxon tribes to Christianity. These Saxon tribes were related to the Danish.

Of course the attack on English monastery at Lindisfarne was a complete surprise to the English. They knew who the Vikings were, and they probably had traded with them in the past, but to them this attack was a big shock. But Ferguson tries to bring some understanding to why it happened. Basically, the Vikings were acting like terrorist trying to protect their culture. This is a rather interesting perspective.

Of course, he talks of the Vikings going to Iceland, Greenland and on to North America. He also talks about their invasions into the British Isles. He talks of the Viking raids into Europe and the Mediterranean Sea. And, lastly about the Vikings that went east, down the rivers to the Black and Caspian Seas to Constantinople.

Hear an interview with Robert Ferguson on this book at YouTube podcast. Part 2 of this podcast is at YouTube podcast. See a short interview with Robert Ferguson on YouTube.

On my website is how to find this book on Amazon if you care to purchase it. See Ferguson. Also, this book review and other books I have reviewed are on my website at Book Reviews.

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