Historical vocabulary of ancient and medieval Scandinavian 

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To study Scandinavian society in the Middle Ages one has to learn Old Norse. Its vocabulary has to be thought of as a vestige of the past in the same way as artefacts uncovered by archaeologists. This vocabulary enables people to be directly in touch with the medieval civilisation of the North. Viking Talk was written because there was a need to cata- logue the key words of Scandinavian society simply and didactically. Translations of the sagas are some- times studded with native words which leave the reader puzzled as to their real meaning. By gathe- ring together these words, we hope to make the first step to discovering the fascinating ancient and medieval Scandinavian society easier.

Although it is easy to understand, Viking Talk seeks to be as precise as possible, targeting the student as much as it does the enlightened amateur, or a historical reconstruction amateur. The entries are delibe- rately short and presented thematically, enabling the reader to follow up his interest of the moment. You will find for example the theme of weapons and tactics, but also more abstract aspects of this society, its morals for instance. Viking enthusiasts will not be disappointed since in these pages, we give them the terms used most by these pirates from the old North, even though the glossary also includes entries for 12th and 13th Century Scandinavia, going beyond the Viking period a little.

Grégory Cattaneo is finishing his doctorate in medieval history carried out in partnership with the Univer- sities of Paris IV Sorbonne and Iceland. He has lived in Iceland since 2005 and taught at the University of Iceland from 2007 to 2014. 


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16 x 24 cm
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Grégory Cattaneo

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