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A Viking Odyssey

We live in a global village. Yes, we know that. But when did globalization first emerge?


This book explores a new idea – that the world was first unified 1,000 years ago, when the Vikings linked Europe and America. Suddenly, almost every region on earth was in touch with its neighbours, spanning continents and oceans. For a few years, it was in theory possible to send a message all the way round the world. At the time, no one could possibly have known this, or what it would lead to. But by hindsight the early 11th century gives us a brief hint of today’s global unity.


This book is the updated text from the original publication, The Atlas of the Year 1000. That was published in 1999 to celebrate the millennium. But it was always much more. It explores the globe for a few decades either side of the year 1000, looking at fast-evolving sophisticated cultures and traditional ones. Islam was confident and curious, Europe was just awakening after its dark-age slumber, and Asia was home to the world’s most refined civilizations, while some aboriginal peoples were modifying age-old ways in Australia, Africa and the Americas.

A splendidly conceived and executed idea

Just brilliant. A real contribution to world history

The most original of all the spate of books that came out during the millennium

Dr. John Roberts

author of 'The New Penguin History of the World'

Robert Moore

Emeritus professor

University of Newcastle

author of 'The War on Heresy: Faith and Power in Medieval Europe'

Michael Palin

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