The Vikings (HIST*3520) | College of Arts

The Vikings (HIST*3520)

Code and section: HIST*3520*01

Term: Winter 2017

Instructor: James Fraser


MacKinnon Extension 1009

OFFICE HOURS: Wednesdays 12-1 (or by appointment)

Course Description:

In the ninth century northern Europe and the north Atlantic were transformed by the remarkable exertions of Scandinavian raiders, navigators, invaders and settlers and the political, religious and cultural forces that these ‘vikings’ unleashed. This course examines this fascinating epoch in medieval history by assessing the Scandinavian impact across northern Europe (including a detailed case study of Britain and Ireland) and the Scandinavian cultural background that gave rise to the viking phenomenon. Throughout the course there is an emphasis on reading and assessing the value of medieval sources.


Classes take place on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 1:00-2:20, in MacKinnon 315. The Wednesday class each week will usually revolve around readings from medieval sources.

Coursework and Assessment:

Mike the Knight and the vikings 15%

primary source analysis I 10%

mid-term exam (weeks 1-6) 25%

primary source analysis II 10%

seminar work 15%

take-home final exam (weeks 7-12) 25%

LATE SUBMISSIONS: Assignments submitted late will be penalized three percent per day.


Somerville, A. A. and R. A. McDonald, The Vikings and their age (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2013)

Somerville, A. A. and R. A. McDonald, (eds.), The Viking Age: a reader, 2nd edition (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2014)


*Please note:  This is a preliminary web course description only.  The department reserves the right to change without notice any information in this description.  The final, binding course outline will be distributed in the first class of the semester.