Vikings and Sea-Kings: Power and Plunder in the Irish Sea Region, 794-1079

The Vikings inspired both fear and fascination in medieval times, and they continue to exercise a powerful hold on the modern imagination. In this module you will explore the Viking Age in the Irish Sea region and the Isles. The module ranges from the first Viking raids to the creation of the kingdom of Man and the Isles, a ‘sea-kingdom’ that encompassed numerous islands. The module offers you the chance to develop a sophisticated understanding of textual sources as well as non-textual material. You will gain a grasp of political history, and you will have the opportunity to study the economy, culture, ethnicity and gender. The field is flourishing, and exciting new finds such as the Silverdale Hoard continue to refresh our understanding of the period. You will have access to secondary literature, but there is scope for developing original interpretations by studying the primary material.

There will be some focus on the prolific evidence from north-west England, including artefacts in local museums and impressive stone monuments. You have the opportunity to take part in two field trips to sites and museums and are required to pay for your own use of public transport. The local evidence will be set in the broader context of Britain, Ireland, the Isle of Man and the North Atlantic.