Viking armies, large and mobile, had a devastating impact on the places they raided; Price likens them to pirate polities. They also brought about a transformation within Scandinavian society, as the economy was reorganized towards the large-scale production of timber for ships and woollen textiles for sails: the Viking Age, writes Price, was the “Age of the sheep farmer”. Importantly, such production was supported by slave labour, with women in particular (captives of Viking raids?) working in dim, dank, sunken huts at the loom.
Here, then, are the Vikings in full colour. The lived reality may sometimes have been more monotone, but no other history of the Vikings is as vibrant or expands the scope of the Viking world to encompass not just landscapes, but mindscapes.