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The Viking World

16/12/2023 - 30/12/2023
Are you interested in learning about the much talked about and debated history and culture of the Vikings? Learn from medievalist historian, Terri Barnes. Topics include Viking influence in the world, language and arts, and mythology and religion.
December 16, 10 am to 12 pm
Expansion and Influence in the Wider World
Learn about the raiding and trading that Vikings are famous for. Vikings expanded out from Scandinavia in unprecedented numbers and in many directions during the Viking Age, from North America in the west to the Mediterranean in the south, and to Russia and Constantinople in the east. The reasons they did so and how they accomplished their goals are still debated by historians. But there is no doubt they made contact with many cultures and their influence was widely felt.
December 23, 10 am to 12 pm
Language and Arts
This week we look at Scandinavian culture during the Viking Age through their traditional language and art. Old Norse and the runic alphabet dominate in a time when oral culture and storytelling were hallmarks of Viking life. We’ll talk about literary forms such as sagas and poetry, as well as what they wrote in runes. Their art was part of a long-standing Germanic tradition focusing on form and function. We will examine the materials, methods, and the primary styles of the period.
December 30, 10 am to 12 pm
Mythology and Religion
We end the series on an important cultural shift during the Viking Age when Scandinavians went from practicing the traditional “pagan” polytheism that we know as Norse Mythology to adopting Christianity and becoming religiously like the rest of Western Europe. You will learn about the cosmology of the Norse peoples in the early Viking Age as well as the reasons why they ultimately converted to the Christian faith and how that affected what it meant to be a “Viking.”
Meet your instructor, Terri Barnes:
Terri Barnes is a medievalist historian from Portland, Oregon. She has been teaching History since 2004. She is currently faculty at Portland Community College and Portland State University. History is her passion, and she counts herself fortunate to have a career where she can share it with people every day through the classroom, public speaking events, and various social media.
Terri has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Art History and a Master’s degree in History. Her primary area of historical research and teaching is medieval northern Europe, with particular emphasis on the history of the Viking Age. She has also worked on medieval English history. As a social and cultural historian, she tends toward investigating how societies in the past functioned and how cultures developed and influenced (and were influenced by) others. Her goal has always been to try and walk alongside the people of the past in an effort to understand who they were, what they valued, and what motivated them to do what they did.
When not teaching, Terri enjoys traveling, running, and cooking. You can find her cooking and talking about history on her YouTube channel Shieldmaiden in the Kitchen. She is also cohost of the podcast Vikingology: The Art and Science of the Viking Age.

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