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Marika Mägi

Marika Mägi’s book considers the cultural, mercantile and political interaction of the Viking Age (9th-11th century), focusing on the eastern coasts of the Baltic Sea. The majority of research on Viking activity in the East has so far concentrated on the modern-day lands of Russia, while the archaeology and Viking Age history of today’s small nation states along the eastern coasts of the Baltic Sea is little known to a global audience.
This study looks at the area from a trans-regional perspective, combining archaeological evidence with written sources, and offering reflections on the many different factors of climate, topography, logistics, technology, politics and trade that shaped travel in this period. The work offers a nuanced vision of Eastern Viking expansion, in which the Eastern Baltic frequently acted as buffer zone between eastern and western powers.

Winner of the Early Slavic Studies Association 2018 Book Prize for most outstanding recent scholarly monograph on pre-modern Slavdom.
The work was described by the prize committee in the following terms: "The scope of this book is far broader than the title might suggest. It amounts to a substantial rethinking of the history of the eastern Baltic from the tenth to the thirteenth century, based on both archaelogical and written evidence. The author is by training an archaeologist, and she mounts a powerful criticism of historians who prioritise the written sources and then pick and choose from the archaeological evidence to suit their theories. This book foregrounds the archaeology, which is used to question and consider the written evidence. The author is also highly and rightly critical of the archaeological scholarship, for projecting back into the past the narrow concerns of the numerous nation states that now exist across the eastern and northern Baltic, or the Great Russian nationalist-materialist-imperialist interpretations of the Soviet period. The result is a detailed and fascinating account of the interactions of the worlds of Scandinavia and Rusʹ with the various peoples of the Baltic region, both Finno-Ugric and Baltic. The resulting picture of commercial, political, and cultural interaction across several cultures, and based on reading in a wide range of languages, is a tour-de-force."


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Edited by Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin and Mats Roslund

In Identity Formation and Diversity in the Early Medieval Baltic and Beyond, the Viking World in the East is made more heterogeneous. Baltic Finnic groups, Balts and Sami are integrated into the history dominated by Scandinavians and Slavs.
Interaction in the region between Eastern Middle Sweden, Finland, Estonia and North Western Russia is set against varied cultural expressions of identities. Ten scholars approach the topic from different angles, with case studies on the roots of diversity, burials with horses, Staraya Ladoga as a nodal point of long-distance routes, Rus’ warrior identities, early Eastern Christianity, interaction between the Baltic Finns and the Svear, the first phases of ar-Rus dominion, the distribution of Carolingian swords, and Dirhams in the Baltic region.
Contributors are Johan Callmer, Ingrid Gustin, Charlotte Hedenstierna-Jonson, Valter Lang, John Howard Lind, Marika Mägi, Mats Roslund, Søren Sindbaek, Anne Stalsberg, and Tuukka Talvio.