HTY 427: Vikings!

Instructor: Professor Joel Anderson

Days/Time: Tuesday and Thursday, 12:30-1:45 p.m.

Course Number: 68351

Location: Stevens Hall 375

Course Description: Marauding barbarians with a lust for blood and plunder, the Vikings retain their grip on the popular imagination. To what extent are our images of the medieval Norse grounded in historical reality? This course will begin by asking what archaeological finds, runestones, skaldic poetry, and foreign chroniclers can tell us about the people of Viking Age Scandinavia. We will then explore how different societies and cultural groups have shaped and reshaped images of the Vikings to suit different agendas. Our investigation will range from thirteenth-century Iceland, where medieval Christian writers composed vernacular sagas about pagan heroes, to contemporary America, where Viking imagery appears on everything from football helmets to comic books.

Prerequisites: Three credits in history or instructor permission.

General Education Requirements: This course satisfies the Cultural Diversity and International Perspectives and the Western Cultural Tradition requirements.