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Whilst it is not essential to do any background reading before the course begins, you may find it useful to do so. The reading list below contains books that you can read. You don’t have to read all of these. Indeed, we don’t specify any that you must read. Instead, these are readings you can use to gain a preliminary understanding of topics, as well as to study in more depth those parts of the course you are particularly interested in. You may also want to take a look at magazines such as British Archaeology, World Archaeology and Current Archaeology.


Brinks, S and Price, N (eds). 2011. The Viking World. Routledge.

Haywood, J. 2013. Viking: The Norse Warrior’s (Unofficial) Manual. Thames & Hudson.

Oliver, N. 2013. Vikings. Phoenix. (Associated with BBC TV series of same name. DVD also available)

Richards, J. D. 2005. The Vikings: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press.


Crossley-Holland, K. 2011. The Penguin Book of Norse Myths. Penguin.

Snorri Sturlson. The Prose Edda. (Available from Penguin Classics, Oxford World Classics etc)

The Poetic Edda. (Available from Penguin Classics, Oxford World Classics etc)


Page, RI. 2006. An Introduction to English Runes. Boydell Press.

Page, RI and Parsons, D. 1998. Runes and Runic Inscriptions. Boydell Press.


Durham, K and Noon, S. 2002. The Viking Longship. Osprey.