Book Series Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe, vol. 4

Scandinavia and Europe 800-1350

Contact, Conflict, and Coexistence

Jonathan Adams, Katherine Holman (eds)

  • Pages: xxii + 369 p.
  • Size:165 x 245 mm
  • Illustrations:60 b/w
  • Language(s):English
  • Publication Year:2004

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-51085-9
  • Hardback
  • Available
  • ISBN: 978-2-503-53907-2
  • E-book
  • Available


'It is a pleasure to be able to commend this volume as almost a model of its kind. Several of the essays […] will serve as valuable tools of reference for future students and scholars; others […] offer fundamental challenges to the course of research in their respective fields. Almost all are provocative in the best in the sense of the word: they will engender debate, and act as a stimulus for further work, and they all adhere to extremely high scholarly standards. The editors and publishers deserve the highest praise for assembling such a wide-ranging, yet successfully cohesive, set of essays from specialists across the full range of relevant disciplines' (C. Abram in The Medieval Review, ref. 05.11.02).

"The volume is very nicely produced and lavishly illustrated. The editors and publishers sould be commended for having placed a high priority on pictorial material, as is all too rarely in such volumes. (...) This book contains many very important papers, which exemplify the erudition and vitality of scholarship in the fields of learning it represents." (O. Vésteinsson in Saga-Book, p.166-168)


This volume examines the various forms of contact between Scandinavia and the rest of Europe from 800 to 1350. It consists of twenty-five papers from international scholars specialising in archaeology, onomastics, literature, art history, epigraphy, religious history and linguistics. The volume is innovative in three respects: (i) in transcending conventional historical boundaries, by bringing together work on both the viking and medieval periods; (ii) by examining the ways in which mainland Europe influenced Scandinavia (e.g. kingship, law and social organisation; and classical and continental literary traditions); and (iii) by synthesising all the material for an English-language readership for the first time. The broader timespan of investigation illustrates the changing nature of contact and the gradual integration of Scandinavia into European society: by 1350 Scandinavia was no longer a heathen outpost on the periphery of the known world, but an integral part of Western Christendom. The cultural impact of mainland Europe on Scandinavia, frequently mediated through religious channels, although less dramatic, is shown to have had a more significant long-term impact than the earlier viking raids. The volume is structured around the following sections: Historical and Archaeological Evidence for [Scandinavian] Contact with the British Isles; Evidence for the Linguistic Impact of Scandinavian Settlement; Evidence for the Impact of Christianity on Scandinavia; Textual Evidence for Contact, Conflict, and Coexistence.