This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.
The Vikings are remembered today for their raids—but they also made a name for themselves through their voyages to the edges of the medieval world. Touching down on four continents, they pushed the borders of the map in their endeavors as raiders, merchants, mercenaries and explorers. This course will follow the Norsemen on some of these journeys, beginning with local voyages in and around Scandinavia and expanding to their most far-flung destinations in the East. From the Russian steppes to the Caspian Sea, through the Byzantine Empire and beyond, we will look to literary as well as archaeological evidence to explore the impact of the Norsemen on their foreign surroundings, and vice versa. Why did they travel? What did they learn in these foreign societies? And what did they bring home with them?
The aim of this course is to help students further their skills in reading, analysis and composition, and to feel more confident participating in existing academic debates. The semester will culminate in a research project designed for students to learn how to find, analyze and engage with secondary sources at the university level.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of the “A” portion of the Reading & Composition requirement or its equivalent. Students may not enroll in nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.