Cambridge History of Scandinavia by Knut Helle

By Knut Helle

This used to be a present to my Swedish husband. you need to be prompted to accomplish this "heavy-weight". i am not; thankfully he used to be. first-class booklet for the educational student, or heavily curious reader.

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Communication by boat or ship was the favoured way of maintaining contacts internally and necessary for interaction with the rest of Europe; consequently, the development of sailing ships was a prerequisite for Viking expansion. Society was predominantly agricultural and clearly stratified, with slaves as the lowest stratum and a warlike aristocracy at its head. The polytheistic religion was a household religion, closely woven into life and culture – and, unlike Christianity, lacking a professional clergy and, apparently, largely without specialised cult buildings.

The cliffs on the west coast provide shelter for a rich bird life and fowling has been an important supplement to farming and fishing. 42 Cambridge Histories Online © Cambridge University Press, 2008 2 The Stone and Bronze Ages a r i s i i r i a¨ i n e n The early hunters The first inhabitants of Scandinavia migrated from the south, south-east and east following the retreating continental ice margin. e. present-day Denmark, southern Sweden and southern Norway – the late Palaeolithic hunters of the northern continental plains extended their hunting trips northwards in pursuit of the reindeer herds.

Seter, Scottish shielings) with grazing land. The damming of rivers has increased the extent of wetlands and water meadows over quite large areas. To the east, in Finland, the proportion of birch increases, partly as the result of earlier clearances of parts of the forest by fire. The colonisation of this enormous forest region did not cease until the first part of the twentieth century in northern Sweden and after the Second World War in Finland. The coniferous zone has long been the home of much sought-after game species such as bears, wolves, wolverines, otters and golden eagles.

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