Book review: The Orkneyinga Saga

Christine Foster Meloni Washington, D.C. Who were the Vikings? When this question is asked, what usually comes to mind? Images of violent Norsemen, jumping into their well-crafted ships to go off to raid, plunder, and kill in other lands before returning to Norway. Sometimes, though, the Vikings decided not to return home but to settle in other lands. Scotland’s Orkney Islands became one of the sites of Norse colonialization. These islands were strategically located in the middle of the Vikings’ sea roads and therefore served as an ideal base for raids on both Scotland and Ireland. And they provided land to settlers who had none in their home country of Norway. The first Viking raid in the Orkneys took place in A.D. 794 when the monastery on the island of Iona was attacked. The Vikings then returned in 839 with a large fleet and defeated both the King of the Picts and the K
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Christine Foster Meloni

Christine Foster Meloni is professor emerita at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. She has degrees in Italian literature, linguistics, and philosophy of education, and a doctorate in international education.

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