A Detail of a Norse Boar's Head Carving from Maughold Churchyard on the Isle of Man (Image Credit: Fee and Zoller 2000)
English 401: Viking Studies
The Medieval North Atlantic
A Reversed Detail of a Norse Boar's Head Carving from Maughold Churchyard on the Isle of Man (Image Credit: Fee and Zoller 2000)

A Norse Boar's Head Carving from Maughold Churchyard on the Isle of Man (Image Credit: Fee and Zoller 2000)

The Secret of Otter's Ransom: An Electronic, Interactive, Interdisciplinary Introduction to the Medieval North Atlantic
Imagine visiting the imposing site of the priory at Lindisfarne, where the Viking Age began;  think of the excitement of visiting archaeological digs of pagan Viking ship burials, replete with buried treasure alongside human and animal sacrifices;  consider the ability to wander at will through the spectacular Norse ruins of the settlement at Jarlshof in the Shetland Islands on a glorious, windswept day in the far north. The Secret of Otter's Ransom allows users to visit and to learn about some of the most spectacular archaeological and cultural sites of Britain while grounding this quest in the widely dispersed Norse culture of the North Atlantic Fringe. Utilizing hundreds of QTVR panoramas, documentary-style digital video clips, and interactive digital images, visitors can use this project to navigate oceans of time and space. The ancient Germanic peoples revered the boar for his boldness and ferocity; follow their example! Click on the boar's head at left to begin your journey!

The Priory Church at Lindisfarne was sacked during a Viking Raid in AD 793; this Raid is often said to mark the opening of the Viking Age (Image Credit: Fee, Hannon and Zoller 1999) English 401: Viking Studies--The Vikings in Britain Course Syllabus
In 793 AD the first great Viking raid of England took place at the monastery at Lindisfarne, and this event marks the beginning of a presence in Britain which culminated with the crowning of a Danish king of England, Cnut, in 1016 AD. Even the two great invasions of Britain in 1066, mounted by William of Normandy and Harald Hardradi, represented incursions from different branches of the same Viking family tree. In this course we will explore the genesis, development, and dissemination of medieval Scandinavian culture, focusing on the age of the greatest impact of the Vikings upon the British Isles (roughly AD 793 through AD 1066) but surveying an overview of the entire breadth and depth of early Scandinavian Europe. Moreover, students in this course work as my colleagues in constructing an interactive, multimedia virtual tour of the Medieval North Atlantic. Some would mark the start of the Viking Age with the raid at Lindisfarne Priory. Click on the ruins of the Rainbow Arch at Lindisfarne at left to access a complete printable syllabus.
Grettir's Pool at Reykir (Image Credit: Fee and Rutkowski 2006) Course Requirements
In this course we engage a number of disciplines; one of these is literature, but others include history, archaeology, religion, anthropology, and law; be thinking about how these various fields intersect, and think about how your own academic and personal interests might help to provide an interdisciplinary perspective on this material. Click on Grettir's Pool at left to jump right into a discussion of General and Specific Requirements, along with Project Guidelines, Caveats, and important Disclaimers!
Drangey Isle, Where Grettir Spent Part of his Outlawry (Image Credit: Fee and Rutkowski 2006) Required Texts and Reading Schedule
What books do I need? Where can I find them? What do they cost? What do I have to read each week? I like to buy my books a few at a time; which should I buy first? What books would you take with you if you were an Outlaw living on a desert island? Click on Drangey Isle at left to keep up with the tide of reading!
The Sanctuary Knocker at Durham Cathedral (Image Credit: Fee, Hannon and Zoller 1999)

Useful Course Materials
Brush up on your Old Norse by accessing the class language exercises! Get a taste for Interactive Fiction by stepping into a sample adventure, or open the magic door to the ongoing Otter's Ransom portal to the Medieval North Atlantic. Even download the software needed to begin to create your own Interactive Fiction! Even St. Cuthbert's bones sought sanctuary from the Vikings! Grasp the Sanctuary Knocker of Durham Cathedral at left to open the door to a world of multimedia possibilities!

Fenrir the Wolf, Who will Swallow Odin at Ragnarok; from a Cross-slab at Andreas on the Isle of Man (Image Credit: Fee and Zoller 2000) Assignment Schedule
When is what due? Assignment? What Assignment? Homework? Exams? You must be joking!?!?! The Gods met their Doom at Ragnarok; don't follow their example: Click on Fenrir swallowing Odin at left to see if you bit off more than you can chew!
Copyright 1999-2013 Gettysburg College and Christopher R. Fee