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What caused the Viking Age?

Part of: The Vikings

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2015

James H. Barrett*
McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, Downing Street, Cambridge, CB2 3ER, UK (Email:
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This paper addresses the cause of the Viking episode in the approved Viking manner – head-on, reviewing and dismissing technical, environmental, demographic, economic, political and ideological prime movers. The author develops the theory that a bulge of young males in Scandinavia set out to get treasure to underpin their chances of marriage and a separate domicile.

Research Article
Copyright © Antiquity Publications Ltd 2008


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