• The Vikings and Their Enemies

  • Warfare in Northern Europe, 750-1100
  • By: Philip Line
  • Narrated by: Robert Fass
  • Length: 13 hrs and 3 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History, Ancient History
  • 4.0 out of 5 stars (304 ratings)
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Publisher's Summary

A fresh account of some of history's greatest warriors. The Vikings had an extraordinary and far-reaching historical impact. From the eighth to the 11th centuries, they ranged across Europe - raiding, exploring, and colonizing - and their presence was felt as far away as Russia and Byzantium. They are most famous as warriors, yet perhaps their talent for warfare is too little understood.

Philip Line, in this scholarly and highly interesting study of the Viking age, uses original documentary sources - the chronicles, sagas, and poetry - and the latest archaeological evidence to describe how the Vikings and their enemies in northern Europe organized for war. His graphic examination gives an up-to-date interpretation of the Vikings' approach to violence and their fighting methods that will be fascinating listening for anyone who is keen to understand how they operated and achieved so much in medieval Europe. He explores the practicalities of waging war in the Viking age, including compelling accounts of the nature of campaigns and raids and detailed accounts of Viking-age battles on land and sea, using all the available evidence to give an insight into the experience of combat. Throughout this fascinating book, Philip Line seeks to dispel common myths about the Vikings and misconceptions about their approach to warfare.

©2014 Philip Line; First Skyhorse Publishing edition 2015 (P)2015 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Vikings and Their Enemies

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Remarkable and comprehensive

This book is about warfare in the viking era, not about vikings. The norsemen does however play an important role in this narrative. Their raids and incursions are of course important factors contributing to changes and trends in their enemies, but a great deal of attention is also given to the vikings themselves.

I found myself stopping what I was doing to rewind during certain paragraphs, or to pay full attention to others. In my book, this is a testament to both author and narrator. I will also be listening to this book again soon, so that I can better absorb some of the factoids and theories.

I would not categorise this book as being entry level, as the author assumes his audience is fairlu familiar with early medieval European history.

9 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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endlessly dry

someone needs to do a health and welfare check on the narrator. he may have passed away a few years before this was produced. Siri or Google text to speech speak with more inflection and personality.
the content is accurate but without linkage or notable progression. I know it was free, so there is only so much criticism that can be given.
it reminds me of a robot reading me the phone book whitepages (If you remember what those were).

4 people found this helpful

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too dry

reads like a dictionary, not a story. probably a great resource for academics but not for story listeners. lot of information though!

4 people found this helpful

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An insight into those who fought

I love this book. I deeply appreciate that this is not just a list of names, dates and places but the author tries and does a good job of painting what life in Viking Era Europe was like for everybody. The ins and outs of customs, tactics weapons, governments and society are all covered; clearly showing why the Viking we able to win sometimes and loose others.

3 people found this helpful

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Sample preview is misleading

Any additional comments?

The preview sample is about a battle, after the battle the author says this is all wrong and goes on a 2 hour rant about ecclesiastical authors and that their views are wrong and after that it doesn't get very interesting, the narrator was good though

6 people found this helpful

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Real reference material.

Dense and a bit dry, but that’s what I was looking for. I learned a lot.

2 people found this helpful

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informative

very detailed but I feel that I sometimes didn't have enough previous knoledge of other European people's to keep up with everything the author was explaining

2 people found this helpful

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Not just another account of battles

This book contains information in depth. it is not just another account of battles, kings, and weapons. Through this book I gained an understanding of dark age life and politics.

5 people found this helpful

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misleading regarding Vikings

if you are looking for Viking information this book has far too many influences in other information which if burning for Vikings you will be overwhelmed with numbers.

1 person found this helpful

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A very academic look at Viking warfare

A very academic look at Viking warfare.

Ok, first off, this 2014 book has a FABULOUS cover and is clearly trying to capitalize on the popularity of shows like The Last Kingdom and Vikings. I totally get that. That being said, this is NOT a book for the general reader or even for the amateur military history buff. It's a scholarly work primarily for people already in the field looking for a granular level deep dive into medieval Norse warfare.

The actual writing is dry as a bone. This is a far more scholarly look at Viking culture, military strategy, and tactics. The inherent problem with such a work is that since the Vikings did not write nearly as much down as their ecclesiastical victims, so we are left with a LOT of conjecture on everything from unit size to the use of cavalry, individual tactics, and even what constituted a "battle." Since so much of what we know came from the Christian lands they invaded and priests writing about them rather than Vikings writing about themselves, Line does a good job of warning the reader not to read too far into this or that source and is also appropriately skeptical about other academic conclusions about how Vikings "surely" did this or that.

Unfortunately, because there is so much caveating about seemingly minor academic disputes, the (general) reader is left with arguably LESS of an understanding of how Vikings or their enemies actually fought. Is this an oversimplification? Yes, but after 350 pages of "well, ACKshually" -- it's about the only response left.