Viking Culture Then and Now

Lunds universitet
Fristående kurser (grundnivå)
7.5 hp
Startdatum: Vår 2025 - Distans
Sista ansökan: 2024-08-15

Viking Culture Then and Now

What was life in the "Viking Age" really like? How do we know? How has the image of the Vikings changed over time? Explore the historical sources and interpretations as well as the cultural significance of Vikings in art, film, and literature during the last two centuries, both in the Scandinavian countries and in the world at large. Join our online course and gain a comprehensive understanding of the enduring legacy of Viking culture.

Viking culture then

When did the Viking Age actually begin? Wood, turf, stone and daub - how did people live, and how were families organised? Power struggle, curiosity or greed? What were the incentives for Scandinavian expansion? What impact did the Scandinavians have on the Anglo-Saxon and Frankish kingdoms? These are some of the questions we will ask throughout the course, and you'll develop important skills in interpreting, comprehending, and discussing various types of contemporary sources in trying to answer them. This includes studying written materials like Old Norse literature, runic inscriptions, and chronicles, as well as examining archaeological evidence.

Vikings in modern culture

The course will also study how Viking culture has been portrayed in later forms of art and entertainment, such as literature, films, media, monuments, and cultural policies. Perceptions of "noble savagery", egalitarianism, and mindless barbarism in the Viking world will be contextualised and challenged. We'll pay special attention to its connection with the Romantic tradition and discuss works like Swedish author Esaias Tegnér's epic poem Frithiof's Saga (1825) but also more contemporary works like The Long Ships (Frans G. Bengtsson, 1941) and the film The Northman (Robert Eggers, 2022) as well recent TV-series featuring Viking topics. It's also worth noting that the modern understanding and spread of Viking culture have been subject to academic and political debates, and we'll explore these controversies as well.

By the end of the course, you'll have a comprehensive grasp of Viking culture and its significance throughout history and today.

Course format

This is a distance learning course using the learning platform Canvas, with online lectures over Zoom. You need access to a computer with internet connection, webcam, and a headset throughout the semester. The course will be conducted through online-based introductions, lectures, exercises, and approximately ten discussion seminars. It is mandatory to actively participate in more than half of the discussion seminars.


Grundläggande behörighet samt 60 högskolepoäng i avslutade kurser inom humaniora eller samhällsvetenskap eller motsvarande. Generellt undantag för kravet på kunskaper i svenska medges.

Lunds universitet

Lunds universitet

Lunds universitet har sin naturliga plats bland Europas främsta lärosäten. Som Skandinaviens största enhet för högre utbildning och forskning bedriver universitetet idag verksamhet inom ett brett spektrum av ämnen. På Lunds universitet arbetar cirka 6 800 personer – lärare, forskare, administrativ...

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