Chapter 5: Division, Invasion, and Reorganization, c. 800- 1000


The Vikings

The Viking Answer Lady

Viking Artifacts at the British Library


TEST YOURSELF: Have you read Chapter 5 adequately? Test yourself here.


MAPS: Want to download a map from chapter 5?  Click here.


TIMELINES: Want to download a timeline from chapter 5?  Click here.


CITATIONS: Want to find the source of a quote used in chapter 5? Click here.



Richard Abels, Alfred the Great: War, Kingship, and Culture in Anglo-Saxon England (1998). See also Alfred P. Smyth, King Alfred the Great (1995).

Geoffrey Barraclough, The Crucible of Europe (1976). A clearly written political analysis of Western European politics from about 800 to 1050. For national histories, see items cited in earlier bibliographies and also Jean Dunbabin, France in the Making, 843–1180 (2nd edition, 2000); Timothy Reuter, Germany in the Early Middle Ages, 800–1056 (1991); Karl J. Leyser, Rule and Conflict in an Early Medieval Society: Ottonian Saxony (1979); Giovanni Tabacco, The Struggle for Power in Medieval Italy (1989).

Thomas Head and Richard Landes, eds., The Peace of God: Social Violence and Religious Response in France Around the Year 1000 (1992). Perceptive essays by an international pantheon of scholars.

Robin Fleming, Britain After Rome: The Fall and Rise, 400-1070 (2010). A striking and readable integration of archeaology and history.

Susan Reynolds, Fiefs and Vassals: The Medieval Evidence Reinterpreted (1994). A recent interpretation. See also J. P. Poly and Eric Bournazel, The Feudal Transformation 900–1200, trans. C. Higgitt (1991). See Lester K. Little and Barbara H. Rosenwein, Debating the Middle Ages: Issues and Readings (1998) for a useful selection of readings on feudalism.

Janet L. Nelson, Charles the Bald (1992). A deeply learned and brief study emphasizing the politics, economy, and institutions of ninth-century West Francia.

Timothy Reuter, ed., The Medieval Nobility (1979). Excellent essays on the French and German nobility to the twelfth century.

Angus Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald, The Vikings And Their Age (2013).  A short and excellent companion to their sourcebook, The Viking Age: A Reader (2nd edition, 2015). See also this brief and lively study: Martin Arnold, The Vikings: Wolves of War (2007).



Carl I. Hammer, A Large-Scale Slave Society of the Early Middle Ages: Slaves and Their Families in Early Medieval Bavaria (2002). Includes translated documents about slaves and serfs in the eighth and ninth centuries.

David Herlihy, ed., The History of Feudalism (1970). A still useful survey, built around primary sources.

Simon Keynes and Michael Lapidge, eds. and trans., Alfred the Great (1983).

R. I. Page, Chronicles of the Vikings: Records, Memorials and Myths (1995). Presents sources within a seamless commentary.

Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald, eds., The Viking Age: A Reader (2nd edition, 2015).



These listings are works-in-progress.  They are highly selective and aimed at the practical needs of students and teachers.  If you have suggestions, please send them to Judith Bennett.