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Conversion and the church in the Hebrides in the viking age: "A very difficult thing indeed"

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Chapter Summary

A female skeleton was discovered buried in a mound at 'Ardvonrig' on Barra, an island at the southern end of the chain that forms the Outer Hebrides. The Hebrides have proved to be fertile ground for speculation and disagreement about the activities and impact of Scandinavians in the Irish Sea and North Atlantic. Participants in dynastic struggles for control of the wider region no doubt appreciated the military, economic, and other strategic advantages offered by the Hebrides, and in their turn the islands felt the interest of those in control of the power centres of Orkney, Man, Dublin, and beyond. The impression given by the admittedly scarce source-material is that throughout the Viking Age the Hebrides, though tied into the bigger Scandinavian picture, were also an area of acute micropolitics.

Keywords: Dublin; Hebrides; Orkney; Viking Age



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