When Viking invaders tore through 9th-century Europe, only one Anglo-Saxon leader was able to withstand their ferocious onslaught.
While things had picked up by the height of the Viking era in the 9th and 10th centuries, two things were holding the region back.
The book, The Big Fight: My Life In and Out of the Ring, is not slated for publication by Viking until next month.
This excerpt is published with the permission of the author and the publisher, Viking Press.
One famous maritime Viking legend, however, is supported by absolutely no evidence.
"I shall take them with me on some of my Viking raids," Yaspard exclaimed.
Often fared he as a merchant, but upon occasion as a Viking.
Bailie Duke then turned to Kinlay, holding the Viking's stone in his fingers.
The Viking had sent a herald on before, to announce his coming at Odin's court.
A softer characterization, however, makes of him a Viking who was born some centuries after the Viking period.
Scandinavian pirate, 1807, vikingr; modern spelling attested from 1840. The word is a historical revival; it was not used in Middle English, but it was revived from Old Norse vikingr "freebooter, sea-rover, pirate, viking," which usually is explained as meaning properly "one who came from the fjords," from vik "creek, inlet, small bay" (cf. Old English wic, Middle High German wich "bay," and second element in Reykjavik). But Old English wicing and Old Frisian wizing are almost 300 years older, and probably derive from wic "village, camp" (temporary camps were a feature of the Viking raids), related to Latin vicus "village, habitation" (see villa).
The connection between the Norse and Old English words is still much debated. The period of Viking activity was roughly 8c. to 11c. In the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, the raiding armies generally were referred to as þa Deniscan "the Danes," while those who settled in England were identified by their place of settlement. Old Norse viking (n.) meant "freebooting voyage, piracy;" one would "go on a viking."