Here goes… my first column on The Viking Archive! Before publishing further columns, I want to raise a few housekeeping points, so we all know where we stand.
Research. The Viking Archive is my box of index cards. It is where I store my research and my ‘go to’ place when in need of ideas or information to write fiction. Don’t tell anyone, but maintaining this site works out great as a hobby on the side! By the way, this doesn’t mean I’m rewriting Wikipedia or Encyclopaedia Britannica here, though admittedly, they are good starting points for further research.
The term ‘Viking’. I am aware that some might find the terms ‘viking’ and ‘Viking Age’ questionable and I certainly see the academic arguments in this matter. However, I have decided to stick with them for lack of appropriate alternatives. Why? Because ‘Norsemen’ has the tendency to refer to Norwegians whereas Vikings could certainly also be Danish or Swedish. And ‘Scandinavians’ doesn’t imply the time period well enough. This site is foremost intended for a broad audience and most of you know exactly who or what is meant by a Viking. Even if it is just horned helmets and Middle Ages! And yes, the horned helmet visual will be rectified…
Chronology. The subjects on this site are limited to the time frame of the Viking Age. Any good history book will tell you it lasted from the first raid in 793 until the last conquest in 1066. But was it really that precise? That is what I intend to discover. I will stick to the 8th through the 11th century and cover both Scandinavians abroad as well as the situation within Scandinavia at the time.
Footnotes. You’ll have to make do with the footnotes. I can’t help it. Blame it on my teachers. But seriously, referencing is the least we can do to separate what’s real from what’s been made up. I’ve tried to keep the footnote system as minimalistic as possible, so it doesn’t bother you too much whilst reading.
There now. With this all settled, let’s get started.