Vikingenes største slag
Published by Spartacus Forlag, 2020
“You all belong to Odin!”
The heathen Vikings once sent shockwaves throughout Christian Europe. Many of these warriors had sworn themselves to Odin, and considered themselves to be part of his army, making death on the battlefield something not to be feared. During the Battle of Fyrisvollene in southern Sweden, a battlecry was heard: “You all belong to Odin!”
Towards the end of the Viking age, the norse gods of war may have been swapped out for the word of Christ, but war magic and the people’s beliefs in an afterlife filled with honour didn’t end with Christianity’s arrival.
Although there were hundreds of battles in which Vikings were important participants, very few of these battles changed or affected the political and cultural makeup of Europe and the Nordic countries. This book depicts 25 of the largest, strangest and most important battles during the period. From Scandinavia in the north to Byzantia in the east; from Italy in the south to America in the west; the Vikings waged their wars against foreign peoples. All in pursuit of honour, riches, land and power.
The battles are neatly presented with information about their times, places, combatants and the end result. The work is illustrated throughout with 50 photos of artifacts, battle reconstructions and 26 original maps.
Reviews: ‘In Kim Hjardar’s book, we are given the underlying sources, quotations from important sources and an assessment of what we can rely on – and that makes his book essential reading for Viking fans, because all this is done in a clear and vivid way. After describing each battle, Kim Hjardar follows up with a section about the aftermath. In these fictional times, it’s a delight to see the underlying sources comprehensively listed in this lively book.’
5 stars, Berlingske Tidende, Denmark
Format 17 × 24 cm. 248 pages. Translation rights sold to Denmark, Sweden.
Kim Hjardar (b. 1966) is M.Phil in Nordic Viking and Medieval Culture studies from the University of Oslo, and works as a Lector of History at the St. Hallvard College. He heads Norway’s oldest and biggest association for living history re-enactments of the Viking time. Hjardar has published many books about the Vikings, among them Vikings at War (Vikinger i krig), 2011/2017, with Vegard Vike. This major and well received work has been sold to Denmark, France, England, Spain and Sweden.