Death and the Vikings
Distributed for Reaktion Books
In this in-depth account, Neil Price argues that it is by understanding Viking burial that we can best understand the thought and mythology of this fascinating culture. Price contextualizes how Vikings grasped death within the Ragnarök—the immense battle of the living, dead, gods, and humans that would ultimately consume the world in fire—and illustrates that their conception of the afterlife was seen only as a respite before this end. He also shows that this violent view of the afterlife informed their funeral practice, divulging blood-curdling accounts of the sacrifices and rapes that occasionally marked burials. Filled with striking illustrations and reconstructions of graves, Odin’s Whispercasts new light on Norse beliefs about death and, in turn, what these notions tell us of their beliefs about life.