Vikings and Goths

A History of Ancient and Medieval Sweden


In stock

About the Book

The Vikings descended upon Europe at the close of the 8th century, invading the continent’s western seas and river systems, trading, raiding and spreading terror. In the north, they settled Iceland and Greenland and reached North America. In the east, Swedish Varangians established a river road to the Orient. With the collapse of the Viking commercial empire, Sweden and the other Scandinavian countries struggled to survive, their hardships exacerbated by internal strife, foreign domination and the Black Death.
This book details the development of Scandinavia—Sweden in particular—from the end of the Ice Age, through a series of prehistoric cultures, the Bronze and Iron ages, to the Viking period and late Middle Ages. Recent research suggests a Swedish origin of the Goths, who helped dismember the Roman Empire, and evidence of Swedish participation in the western Viking expeditions. Special attention is given to Eastern Europe, where Sweden dominated commerce through the conquest of trade towns and the river systems of Russia.

About the Author(s)

Gary Dean Peterson is an independent scholar and writer whose published works include magazine articles and two books. He is a retired engineer living in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Bibliographic Details

Gary Dean Peterson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 324
Bibliographic Info: 27 illustrations, 28 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6218-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2434-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
1. A Land Reborn 5
2. The First Settlers and Sweden’s Mesolithic Age 11
3. Sweden of the Neolithic Age 23
4. Bronze Age Sweden 31
5. The Iron Age Comes to Sweden 41
6. Roman Iron Age in Sweden 49
7. Visigoths Defeat the Roman Empire 56
8. The Ostrogoths Build an Empire 64
9. Evidence of a Swedish Origin for the Goths 72
10. Sweden in the German Iron Age Migration Period (AD 400–575) 78
11. Sweden of the Vendel Period (AD 575–790) 90
12. Norwegian Vikings Assault the British Isles 102
13. Danish Vikings Invade England 106
14. Viking Raids and Conquests in Continental Europe 111
15. Viking Ships and Navigation 117
16. The Viking Search for New Lands 122
17. Danish Unification During the Viking Age 130
18. The Norwegian Struggle for Independence 134
19. The Empire of Knut the Great 138
20. William the Conqueror Invades England 145
21. Norman Kingdom of Italy and Sicily 151
22. Swedish Participation in the Western Expeditions 155
23. Swedish Unification 161
24. The Swedish People of the Viking Age 173
25. Sweden’s Early Viking Expeditions to the East 190
26. The Geography and People of Eastern Europe 194
27. Swedes of the Rus Khaganate 200
28. Sweden the Great 205
29. Words Written in Stone 221
30. The Last Great Expedition to the East 227
31. End of the Viking Age 232
32. Medieval Sweden (AD 1070–1350) 235
33. Eastern Europe in the Middle Ages 253
34. Novgorod the Great, Lithuania and the Rise of Moscow 266
35. Sweden and the Black Death 271
36. St. Birgitta of Sweden 277
37. Margareta and the Kalmar Union 280
Epilogue 283
Chapter Notes 285
Bibliography 297
Index 301

Book Reviews & Awards

“One of the greatest strengths of the work is how well it provides a more nuanced and complex history of both the Goths and the Vikings… Peterson has provided a thoroughly researched look at Sweden’s development, from primitive peoples after the Ice Age to a people with an emerging national identity about to become players in post-medieval European politics”—Studies in Medieval & Renaissance Teaching