Professor Michael D.C. Drout of Wheaton College immerses listeners in the extraordinary legacy of Viking civilization, which developed in what is now Scandinavia during the early Middle Ages. During the course of these lectures, Professor Drout explores how these peoples conquered all of Northern Europe, traveled as far as Byzantium in the East and North America in the West, and left a literary legacy that includes numerous works studied and enjoyed to this day.
©2012 Michael D.C. Droutt (P)2012 Crescite Group, LLC
This is the fourth course by Professor Drout I've listened to and this may be my favorite. He enthusiastically covers the history of the culture, (religion, literature, language) and the politics of the Vikings (which he explains was a word that originally meant "a man who keeps his boat tied up in the creek behind his farm") and also their importance to European history as a whole.
He touches on a wide variety of subjects. But the lectures fly by and I found myself wishing the course was longer. I was never bored and I will re-listen to it several more times. I highly recommend this course.
Michael Drout is my personal favorite in the Modern Scholar series. Everything he does is fun and he usually speaks in some crazy language that makes your mouth gap in awe. If interested at all in the Vikings get it. Well worth the credit.
Yes I would, but with the proviso that Dr Drout seems to spend WAY too much time doing detailed synopses of the Viking literature, and far too little time on their actual history. I downloaded the book for HISTORY. While I'm that a goodly part of what historians must draw on is derived from the literature they left to us, the author spends too much time relating what happens in the epicss, which has limited value for someone who wants to know how the people lived, interacted with others, what lands they occupied, and how they impacted history. The book has limited value in that regard, and I'm somewhat disappointed.
The aurothor prefaces almost every chapter with a reading in the mother tongue. This is interesting, up to a point. After one round, OK I get it, the language is interesting and unique, but completely unintelligible. Simply not needed every chapter.
The Anglo-Saxon book was better.
Overall a very good effort by the author, I appreciate the studies and knowledge, I just wish there was less literature and more history.
I loved all of the connections that Drout made. I've been on a medieval northern Europe kick after listening to a series of lectures on JRR Tolkein (and HIS connection to the medieval world) by Corey Olsen (one of which included a guest lecture by Professor Drout). I just love how Drout shows the evolution of our understanding of Vikings and their culture. He does a great job of connecting literature with actual events, as well as how those ideas developed into other pieces of art. Some other posts mentioned the lack of history, but the reading the literature is HOW we come to understand the history, so I feel that I got plenty of historical context here. I look forward to listening to other lectures by Mr. Drout.
Exploring JRR Tolkein's The Hobbit: Tolkein, the medievalist that he was, funneled many Norse ideas into his works. Obviously, that makes a connection to this set of lectures, as far as subject matter is concerned, but I'd compare the style of the book to these lectures, as well. Both authors are enthusiastic, interesting, and complete, without being confusing.
The narrator was enthusiastic and easy-to-follow. Of course, it helps that it was also the writer of the material. I felt like I was in a class with my favorite professor. Also, it was fantastic to hear Old Norse spoken aloud.
Well. This book really has bits of useful info. But they are few and hard to find.
- Narration. Plain terrible. "like", "kind of", "well" are plentiful. As well as stupid jokes, probably intended to get attention of low audience(students I guess?).
- Half of the book is about author's analysis of Scandinavian literature. (this one has some interesting parts btw). But of course very opinionated and questionable.
- Almost no history. And it means NO history. Besides quick reflections on northern ship and again quick mentions of events.
Moreover when the author tells about mythology you literally feel his contempt to the subject.
Overall I would save money and not buy this for more than 2 cents or so.
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