Thursday 25. September 2008

Lunch lecture on the martial art of the Vikings

In the first Lunch lecture of the semester, Dr. William Short will discuss the weapons and fighting techniques of the Viking age.


In this presentation, William will talk about the sources of information available for researching medieval martial arts. Next, he will discuss the weapons of the Viking age. Last, he will describe the results of his research, and talk about how the weapons were used by ordinary men, as a part of their everyday lives in the Viking age.


The results of the research are surprising. The Viking people created an effective martial arts system. Their fighting techniques were not crude or simple, but instead were subtle, elegant, and sophisticated.


Dr. William Short received a Doctor of Science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1980. In recent years, he has been affiliated with the Higgins Armory Museum, a museum of arms and armor in the United States.

At the museum, staff members have been researching the martial arts of the European middle ages. Because of his interest in the Sagas of Icelanders and other medieval Icelandic literature, William has been researching the weapons and the fighting techniques of the Viking age, and he regularly demonstrates these techniques to museum visitors. He has written a book about his research, Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques, which will be published by Westholme Publishing in November, 2008.


The Lunch lectures are an informal venue for presenting research that is ongoing or completed. The presentations take around 20-30 minutes and after that discussions are welcome. The lectures take place in the cafeteria of the University Centre and is open to all.


More information:
Higgins Armory Museum
Westholme Publishing
Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques