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When Norwegian Vikings first raided the European coast in the 8th century AD, their leaders were from the middle ranks of warriors kwn as hersirs. At this time the hersir was typically an independent landowner or local chieftain with equipment superior to that of his followers. By the end of the 10th century, the independence of the hersir was gone, and he was w a regional servant of the Norwegian king. This book investigates these brutal, mobile warriors, and examines their tactics and psychology in war, dispelling the idea of the Viking raider as simply a killing machine.
Mark Harrison was born in Castleford, Yorkshire in 1954 and has a Batchelor's degree in Medieval Studies from Lancaster University. He has worked as a Curator at the Royal Armouries, Tower of London since 1986 and has a strong interest in the early medieval world. He lives in Colchester with his wife and son.