Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age

Published in Issue 2 (Summer 1999), Medieval History (pre-1500), News, Volume 7

The first Viking raid on Ireland is recorded in the Annals of Ulster for the year AD 795. The 1200th anniversary of this event in 1995 was marked by an international conference in Dublin attended by over 300 delegates. The proceedings have now been published—Ireland and Scandinavia in the Early Viking Age (Four Courts Press, £25)—edited by Howard Clarke (UCD), Máire Ní Mhaonaigh (St John’s, Cambridge) and Raghnall Ó Floinn (National Museum). It contains papers devoted to archaeology, history and literature by the foremost European scholars in the field of Viking studies. It covers the full span of Irish-Scandinavian relations during the early Viking Age up to c. AD 1000 in the light of the most recent research. The papers include reviews of the history and archaeology of Scandinavia and the Viking west and the development of towns. Other papers deal with Insular finds from Viking graves in Scandinavia; Viking burials from Dublin and the swords and silver of the Viking Age in Ireland. Evidence from the sagas, saints’ lives and other literary sources is assessed which sheds light on the Irish and the Vikings.

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