In the early Middle Ages, Norse peoples (popularly called Vikings) surged out of Scandinavia and established themselves as settlers and rulers across Europe. Beyond their political and territorial gains, they raided and traded even more widely. These major achievements were commemorated and celebrated in an extensive corpus of historical and fictional texts, many available in English translation. With a Viking Studies minor, you will explore this history and literature, languages and archaeology from an interdisciplinary perspective, and will gain an appreciation for the period and its long-term consequences. The minor encourages combining coursework abroad and locally, allowing students to take advantage of Cornell’s unique resources.
Two Interesting Courses
HIST/NES 1660 The Vikings & Their World
Globalization may seem like a recent hot topic, but it was already very much in vogue 1000 years ago when Norse explorers burst out of Scandinavia to journey as far as North America, Azerbaijan, the Mediterranean and the White Sea. This course will introduce students to the Norsemen and women of the Viking Age and the centuries following it, weaving together literary, chronicle, archaeological and other sources to tell the remarkable stories of these medieval entrepreneurs and of the many people and places they encountered. Along the way, students will also pick up crucial historical thinking skills: assessing change and continuity over time, learning the basics of source criticism, and gaining an appreciation for interdisciplinary research.
LING 2215 Old Norse I
Old Norse is a collective term for the earliest North Germanic literary languages: Old Icelandic, Old Norwegian, Old Danish, and Old Swedish. The richly documented Old Icelandic is the center of attention, and the purpose is twofold: the students gain knowledge of an ancient North Germanic language, important from a linguistic point of view, and gain access to the medieval Icelandic (and Scandinavian) literature. The structure of Old Norse (Old Icelandic), phonology, and morphology, with reading of selections from the Prose-Edda, a 13th-century narrative based on the Eddaic poetry.
Five Possible Complementary Majors at Cornell University
Unique Opportunity within the Minor
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