Far from being just ＂wild, barbaric, axe-wielding pirates,＂ the Vikings created complex social institutions, oversaw the coming of Christianity to Scandinavia and made a major impact on European history through trade, travel and far-flung consolidation. This encyclopedic study brings together the latest research on Viking art, burial customs, class divisions, jewelry, kingship, poetry and family life. The result is a rich and compelling picture of an extraordinary civilization. Viking scholarship has changed rapidly since this book was first published in 1996. Else Roesdahl has comprehensively updated this edition to include new and surprising research.