Though infamous for their pirating and raiding, active Vikings were actually only a tiny fraction of the total Scandinavian population during the so-called Viking Age. This exploration of their culture goes beyond the myths into the prosaic realities and intimate details of family life; their attitude toward the more vulnerable members of society; their famed longships and extensive travels; and the role they played in the greater community. In addition to images and maps, a timeline lays out Viking history.
Kirsten Wolf is professor and the Torger Thompson Chair of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, where she teaches courses on Old Norse-Icelandic language and literature and Scandinavian linguistics. She is currently working on an edition of "AM 672 4to," an Icelandic handbook for priests from the fifteenth century, and is associate editor of the "Journal of English and Germanic Philology." Professor Wolf lives in Madison, WI.