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Vikings in America [Kindle Edition]

Graeme Davis
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The first book to tackle the subject in forty years, the true extent of the Viking discovery and colonisation of the eastern seaboard of America is fully examined, taking into account the new archaeological, linguistic and DNA evidence which supplements the historic account. When Columbus claimed to have discovered America in 1492, and the Borgia Pope claimed it as a New World for Catholic Spain, the Vatican started a 500 hundred year conspiracy to conceal the true story of Viking America. In this groundbreaking new work by the author of The Early English Settlement of Orkney and Shetland, the true extent of the Viking discovery and colonisation of the eastern seaboard of America is fully examined, taking into account the new archaeological, linguistic and DNA evidence which supplements the historic account. For four centuries or more, from their first visits around AD 1000 to the eve of the Columbus voyages, the Vikings explored and settled thousands of miles of the coasts and rivers of North America. From New York's Long Island to the Canadian High Arctic the New World was a playground for Viking adventurers. And the name the Vikings gave to this New World - America.

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr Graeme Davis is a specialist in the mediaeval world, its language, literature and culture. Recent books include studies of the language and literature of Anglo-Saxon, Old High German and Old Icelandic cultures. He is a lecturer in the History of the English Language with the Open University, previously a British Academy funded researcher at the University of Iceland, and an enthusiast for the North Atlantic region, where he has travelled extensively.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1189 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Birlinn (May 23, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006WB2EQE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #735,691 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
In "Vikings in America" Graeme Davis, an academic scholar specializing in linguistics of the medieval North Atlantic, has crafted a multi-discipline survey of the evidemce for the presence of Vikings in North America from circa 1000 through at least the 14th century. Davis notes: "The style of this book is as a continuouis narrative free from a heavy critical apparatus. Researchers witll readily find corroboration for factual material in major libraries or online. My contribution has been to put the whole together. There is little here that is original or primary research, save for the etymology proposed for 'America'." [Davis proposes that the name "America" came not from the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci but rather from a Romance language distortion of the Old Norse term "merki" or "merik", meaning an undeveloped border country, i.e, the lands beyond Vinland.]

The author considers the various famous of "hard" evidence for Viking North American presence (Yale's Vinland Map, the Kensington Runestone, the Newport Tower) and concludes that although there are in each case substantial reasons for accepting the validity of that evidence, ultimately none of them can be conclusively shown to be genuine. But Davis believes that the evidence in sum -- archaeological, literary, philoological, genetic, etc. -- supports a view that "the Vikings were in North Amerioa in large numbers and for a long time." He stresses a need to move beyond "an unproductive reworking of the Vinland Map, Kensingtone Runestone and Newport Tower" and instead "accept that we should be able to find traces of the Vikings, and actively search for them.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but Flawed June 4, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I am very interested about Viking exploration in the New World so when I saw this book I knew I had to buy it. The author has a very accessible writing style and the book flows well. He divides the book into main ideas, in particular Viking exploration of the High Arctic, Hudson Bay, and the East Coast of North America. In each section he presents theories, both for and against, supposed Viking exploration. When there is hard evidence available he weaves this into the narrative. So for instance, when he talks about the east coast of North America he mentions L'Anse aux Meadows. When he discusses Vikings in Hudson Bay he mentions and goes into some detail about the Kensington Rune Stone. This is a good book overall and well worth reading but the potential purchaser should know the following:

1. Although the author mentions some evidence he does not go into enough detail for my taste. Some Viking artifacts have been found on Ellesmere island. I was hoping the author would mention the archaeological digs in detail and discuss each piece of evidence available. He does not. He mentions the artifacts in passing, such as a piece of chainmail and some iron tools, and then moves on to theories. If you want more detail you have to go online and find the paper written by the archaeologist. As far as I can understand from those reports the items were found at an Inuit site. Therefore, it is evidence of at least direct or indirect trade but not a smoking gun of Viking permanent presence on the island.

2. The author says that many Viking boat rivets have been found in the Arctic. This is interesting but it would be nice to have a map that shows those sites and a discussion of how they were found and whether the evidence is credible or not.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Viking Book History has been Waiting For January 2, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Finally, a detailed and solid book on Viking exploration of America. Even though we have absolute proof they were in North America, scholars continue to ignore their explorations and impact. Davis explores all of the Viking landfalls from Greenland to Vinland. He also takes a clear look at controversies such as the Vinland Map and Kensington Rune Stone. His theory about the Narragansett Indians needs explored further, as does the Newport Tower. Why do archaeologists ignore something right in their own backyard? There is clear evidence that it predates colonial times. I'm not sure if Davis' Viking name for America holds up, and on page 160 he refers to Columbus as Hispanic, but overall this is the book on Vikings that all students of early American history and exploration have been waiting for. See also New England's Viking and Indian Wars .
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story of an adventurous people. May 20, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was very impressed with Graeme Davis's "Vikings In America" and enjoyed it immensely. The author writes in a methodical fashion, tracing a step-by-step advance of the "Northmonna" across the north Atlantic ocean to North America.

The author does a good job of showing the culture of the Vikings, their outlook and the shipbuilding technology that allowed them to be so adventurous and daring on the open ocean or river networks.

The book shows that the Viking accomplishment in reaching North America was a step-by-step process of people seeking lands to farm moving from their homeland to islands to the north of Britain (Shetland and the Faroes) to Iceland to Greenland to America. I was particularly impressed by the Viking belief that there was always a new land "out there" and their desire to find it. One must also be as impressed with their ability to build ships and sailing techniques to accomplish their journeys.

L'Anse aux Meadows is well covered and analyzed as a way station for exploration even farther west and south. The author writes about the many Viking artifacts found in the new world, whether it is chain mail on Ellesmere Island in the High Arctic or a distinctively Viking ship rivet found on the shore of Hudson Bay. The author presents evidence in a very conservative fashion, only making intelligent speculation where evidence warrants.

The author weaves into the fabric of his work the many unique personalities of the Viking world who figure into this story, both great and small. I felt the author indulged in Columbus bashing a tad bit, but certainly forgivable given the virtual snubbing of the Vikings by history.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
This book is a true masterpiece and I can highly recommend it for people interested in medieval history of Europe and America. However, more pictures would be welcome.
Published 15 days ago by Styrmir Saevarsson
4.0 out of 5 stars A well-written update on the whole "Norse in America" problem, if...
Half a century ago, in _They All Discovered America,_ Michael Boland identified what he called the "NEBC Principle" -- "No Europeans Before Columbus. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Michael K. Smith
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book
I knew a lot about vikings and their great seafaring tradition but I did not known that they explored extensively the far north . Read more
Published 7 months ago by Frank Bounds
5.0 out of 5 stars Vikings in America
This book
is a very readable, well researched reference, useful to even those already well versed on the topic. It is scholarly, yet very accessible to the layman
Published 7 months ago by Carol
5.0 out of 5 stars Vikings in America
I always knew they were here and this book brought alot of information about where they were and an idea on how they lived.
Published 15 months ago by Terry Unruh
5.0 out of 5 stars A powerful re-writing of history
Davis pulls together facts and findings, counters the counter arguments and sets the record straight objectively and scientifically ina smooth and colorful read. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Prophet
1.0 out of 5 stars WTF!?
I'll start this review with WFT?! I''ve read some off the wall things over the years but this has to be one of the most inventive. Read more
Published on September 29, 2012 by Chrystal Vondra
2.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Bag: fact and fiction
Whether Davis is ignorant of or seriously disputes the well-established historical evidence for the derivation of the name "America" as having originated with the cartographer... Read more
Published on April 2, 2011 by Jintili
1.0 out of 5 stars Spun History
A good book if you "want to believe," poor if you're looking for objectivity. I have an open mind but this was very one sided and disappointing. Read more
Published on January 22, 2011 by Paul Melanson
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More About the Author

Dr Graeme Davis was born 1965 in Kent, UK and educated at Chislehurst & Sidcup Grammar School (UK) and the University of St Andrews (UK). He has worked variously as lecturer in English Language & Linguistics and EFL at UK universities. He is an author, academic editor, and researcher as well as Research Fellow, University of Buckingham (UK) and Associate Lecturer with The Open University (UK). A specialist in mediaeval language and literature, with interests in the Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, Iceland, Greenland and the North Atlantic, his writing includes also popular history, genealogy, popular lexicography and literary criticism of the works of Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling and of Dan Brown.

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