Archives de catégorie : Iles britanniques / The British Isles

Turner Valerie Erica, Location, form and function in Shetland’s prehistoric field systems

Turner Valerie Erica, Location, form and function in Shetland’s prehistoric field systems, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. I. A. Simpson, S. Winterbottom, W. P. Adderley, Université de Stirling)

Résumé/abstract :
Shetland boasts exceptionally well-preserved, but largely overlooked, field systems spanning a period of approximately 4000 years (Neolithic/Bronze Age – Viking/Norse). These have the potential to vastly increase our understanding of past agricultural practices and life styles. This study uses topographical survey, Shape Analysis, GIS, soil survey and micromorphology to answer questions relating to their location, form and function/management, pioneering the use of new tools and testing current models. An holistic landscape approach to the field systems is developed and tested against a multi-period site. Previously unknown types and periods of field systems are identified through survey and shape analysis, tools demonstrated to be valuable in refining the emerging model of field classification. GIS has illuminated pre-, during and post- construction factors influencing boundary form. New insights into location arise from the survey and GIS. Soils work has demonstrated that existing models of soil management over-simplify a complex situation, that thin acidic soils retain cultural information and that accretion was important to the sustainability of these peaty soils. While soils were sustainable over extended periods, the cultural inheritance of managed land appears to be limited. This thesis therefore presents the most holistic and comprehensive understanding of Shetland field systems which has so far been attempted.

Kershaw Jane, Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, 850-1050

Kershaw Jane, Culture and gender in the Danelaw: Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, 850-1050, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. Hamerow, University of Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis presents the first synthesis of Viking-Age Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches and pendants, found on English soil. Incorporating data for over five hundred items, including recent metal-detector finds, it generates a new archaeological dataset for the study of the Danelaw. The thesis describes these objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution and function in costume. It argues that Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches elucidate cultural and gender identities in late ninth-and tenth-century England.

The first chapter places the current study in the context of previous research and identifies the scope and aims of the thesis. Chapter 2 describes the theoretical principles which underpin the interpretations made in later sections. The third chapter explains the methods by which material was assembled and critiques the sources of Scandinavian metalwork. Chapter 4 outlines a classification for Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian brooches, based on a number of aesthetic principles.

Chapter 5 describes the Scandinavian origins and background of the brooch types represented in England and introduces their typologies. It acts as a key to Chapter 6, in which the evidence for brooches from England is presented. Subsequent chapters consider brooch function and gender attribution (Ch. 7), chronology (Ch. 8), and distribution and manufacture (Ch. 9). These themes are drawn together in Chapter 10, which offers an interpretation of the significance of Scandinavian and Anglo-Scandinavian metalwork. The conclusion outlines the contribution of this research and emphasises the value of brooches as a source of information for Scandinavian activity and influence.

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Volume extrait de la thèse/ book published:

Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013.

Résumé/Abstract :

Viking Identities is the first detailed archaeological study of Viking-Age Scandinavian-style female dress items from England. Based on primary archival and archaeological research, including the analysis of hundreds of recent metal-detector finds, it presents evidence for over 500 brooches and pendants worn by women in the late ninth and tenth centuries. Jane F. Kershaw argues that these finds add an entirely new dimension to the limited existing archaeological evidence for Scandinavian activity in the British Isles and make possible a substantial reassessment of the Viking settlements.

Kershaw offers an interpretation of the significance of the jewellery in a broader, historical context. The jewellery highlights locations of settlement not commonly associated with the Vikings. In contrast to claims of high levels of cultural assimilation, the jewellery suggests that incoming groups maintained a distinct Scandinavian identity which was sometimes appropriated by the indigenous population. Kershaw also addresses one of the great unanswered questions in the study of Viking-Age settlements: what about the women? The interpretation of the jewellery challenges traditional perceptions of Viking conquest as an all-male affair and brings into focus a population group which has, until now, been almost invisible. Kershaw describes the objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution, and function in costume. This body of material – unknown 30 years ago – is introduced to a public audience for the first time. Including many object images and maps, the study provides a practical guide to the identification of Scandinavian metalwork.

Comptes rendus du livre tiré de la thèse/Reviews :

– Colleen Batey, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Networks and Neighbours, vol. 2, no. 2, 2014, pp. 381-384.

– Victoria Whitworth, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Early Medieval Europe, vol. 22, no. 3, 2014, pp. 376–378.

– Nancy L. Wicker, Book reviewed : “Jane F. Kershaw, Viking Identities, Scandinavian Jewellery in England (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2013)”, Cambridge Archaeological Journal, vol. 23, no. 03, 2013, pp. 561 – 562.

McLeod Shane H., Migration and acculturation : the impact of the Norse on Eastern England, c. 865-900

McLeod Shane H., Migration and acculturation : the impact of the Norse on Eastern England, c. 865-900, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (Université d’Australie-Occidentale)

Lestremau Arnaud, Pratiques anthroponymiques et identités sociales en Angleterre (mi Xe-mi XIe siècles)

Lestremau Arnaud, Pratiques anthroponymiques et identités sociales en Angleterre (mi Xe-mi XIe siècles), Thèse de doctorat soutenue le 9 décembre 2013 (dir. R. Le Jan, Université de Paris I ; co-directeur P. Bauduin, Université de Caen Basse-Normandie)


Au nombre des éléments de la vie sociale, le nom est un des plus universels. En effet, il est à la base de toute communication, dans la mesure où il permet de désigner un tiers. Cependant, le nom n’est pas neutre: il porte du sens et il permet souvent d’identifier les groupes auxquels un individu se rattache. L’étude des noms permet de comprendre une des multiples manières qu’ont les acteurs de s’inscrire dans le champ social. Le nom est une marque d’appartenance, consciente ou non, assumée ou non par son porteur. Sa dation, sa circulation, sa mémoire sont autant d’éléments qui peuvent nous renseigner sur le fonctionnement de la société. Comme outil linguistique et objet de la parole collective, mais aussi grâce à son contenu sémantique et à des phénomènes d’écho entre homonymes, le nom contribue à définir l’individu, mais aussi à l’ancrer dans le champ social. Grâce à la plupart des sources anglo-saxonnes des Xe-XIe siècles, nous menons à bien une étude complète de l’usage et des représentations du nom. Le nom peut en effet avoir des significations variables; il peut même recouvrir des identités contradictoires. Notre but, à ce titre, est de saisir tous ces niveaux de signification et d’articuler ces différentes identités. En constituant des corpus de noms et en les replaçant dans des groupes de parenté, dans des familles culturelles et dans d’autres types de communautés, nous montrons l’importance du nom pour signifier l’identité des hommes, tantôt en les distinguant les uns des autres (identité individuelle), tantôt en les inscrivant dans un ensemble d’identités collectives (notamment la parenté).


Among the elements of social life, the name is one of the most universal. Indeed, it is at the root of all communication, insofar as it allows you to designate a third party. However, the name is not neutral : it carries meanings and it often makes possible to identify the groups to which an individual belongs. The study of names thus allows you to understand how the actors are part of the social field. The name is a sign of affiliation, conscious or not, assumed or not, by the holder. Its giving, its circulation and its memory are all elements that can inform us about how societies do work. As a linguistic tool and as an object of the collective speech, but also through its semantic content and through the echoes it creates between homonyms, the name contributes to defining the individual, but also rooted him in the social field. Thanks to most of the late Anglo-Saxon sources, we carry out a comprehensive study about the naming practices and the representations of naming. The name may indeed have varying meanings and may even cover conflicting identities. Our aim, as such, is to capture ail of these levels of meanings and articulate these different identities. By setting up corpora of names and by replacing them in kinship groups, in cultural families and in other types of communities, we show the importance of the name to signify the identity of men, sometimes by distinguishing them from one another (individual identity), sometimes by placing them in a set of collective identities (mostly relatives).


Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle)

Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle), Thèse de doctorat soutenue  en 2011 (dir. Laurent Feller, Université de Paris I ; David Bates, University of East Anglia)

Résumé/abstract :

Cette thèse étudie les pratiques de gestion adoptées par les religieuses de La Trinité de Caen pour administrer leur vaste temporel anglo-normand durant les deux premiers siècles de l’histoire du monastère. Fondée vers 1059 par Guillaume le Conquérant et Mathilde de Flandres, l’Abbaye-aux-Dames a élaboré un cartulaire-censier (fin du XIIe siècle) et une série d’enquêtes (XIIe-XIIIe siècles) sans équivalent parmi les archives normandes, mais , qui s’insèrent Outre-Manche dans un corpus documentaire plus développé, bien connu et étudié. L’interrogation soulevée par la réalisation de ces documents dans cette abbaye normande constitue le point de départ de l’étude, qui explore la question des rapports entretenus entre compétences scripturaires et administratives, et qui tente de restituer les stratégies de gestion mises en place par les religieuses, et plus particulièrement leurs abbesses, durant les XIe-XIIIe siècles. Replacer cette documentation dans son contexte de production, celui d’une grande abbaye de femmes, dirigée par des abbesses puissantes et pleinement insérées dans l’univers des pratiques culturelles et administratives anglo-normandes, permet de mieux appréhender les enjeux de la réalisation des enquêtes et du cartulaire de l’Abbaye-aux-Dames. Comme tout grand seigneur ecclésiastique de cette époque, les abbesses de Caen témoignent d’une attention pointilleuse pour le respect de leurs prérogatives, mais aussi d’une conscience aiguë des réalités économiques, et d’une grande détermination dans leur démarche de préservation du temporel établi et organisé par la reine Mathilde, qui a souhaité être enterrée dans le chœur de l’église abbatiale.

Compte rendu par Isabelle Theiller sur le forum de Tabularia (08/12/2011)

Continuer la lecture de Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle)

Goodrich Russell, Scandanavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region during the Viking Age

Goodrich Russell, Scandanavians and Settlement in the Eastern Irish Sea Region during the Viking Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. L. Huneycutt, Université du Missouri)

Résumé/abstract :

The Viking Age in England has long been a source of intellectual curiosity that has often been shrouded in obscurity. Although it is a known fact that the Viking Age (ca. 800-1100) included much activity in England, there is a great deal of debate concerning the nature of the interactions of the Scandinavians with the “native” Anglo-Saxons of England. In the northwest of England and southwest of Scotland is an area that is rich in Scandinavian artifacts and place-names, suggesting a substantial presence in the region. This is termed the Eastern Irish Sea Region, and it includes the more recent territorial designations of Cumberland, Westmorland and northern Lancashire in England, and the regions of Galloway and Dumfriesshire in Scotland, and the Isle of Man. This region make up a more or less uniform cultural area of the time period in question and is the focus of this study. It is almost certain that the region was small in importance compared to the larger and better known Scandinavian regions of York and Dublin, but it is nonetheless important, both as a transit point between them and as an economic producer in its own right. In addition to a considerable analysis of artifacts, the study incorporates a new element, namely the smelting and production of iron in the region, and particularly at the site of the Low Birker, Cumbria, where the author did some field research. Although the Low Birker Project has not been completed, it suggests a possible new chapter of Scandinavian inhabitation of the region, as well as a potential means of economic production.

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Lanpher Ann, The Problem of Revenge in Medieval Literature: Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Ljósvetninga Saga

Lanpher Ann, The Problem of Revenge in Medieval Literature: Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Ljósvetninga Saga, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation considers the literary treatment of revenge in medieval England and Iceland. Vengeance and feud were an essential part of these cultures; far from the reckless, impulsive action that the word conjures up in modern minds, revenge was considered both a right and a duty and was legislated and regulated by social norms. It was an important tool for obtaining justice and protecting property, family, and reputation. Accordingly, many medieval literary works seem to accept revenge without question. Many, however, evince a great sensitivity to the ambiguities and paradoxes inherent in an act of revenge. In my study, I consider three works that are emblematic of this responsiveness to and indeed, anxiety about revenge. Chapter one focuses on the Old English poem Beowulf; chapter two moves on to discuss Chaucer’s Reeve’s Tale and Tale of Melibee from the Canterbury Tales; and chapter three examines the Old Icelandic family saga, Ljósvetninga saga. I focus in particular on the treatment of the avenger in each work. The poet or author of each work acknowledges the perspective of the avenger by allowing him to express his motivations, desires, and justifications for revenge in direct speech. Alongside this acknowledgement, however, is the author’s own reflection on the risks, rewards, and repercussions of the avenger’s intentions and actions. The resulting parallel but divergent narratives highlight the multiplicity of viewpoints found in any act of revenge or feud and reveal a fundamental ambivalence about the value, morality, and necessity of revenge. Each of the works I consider resists easy conclusions about revenge in its own context and remains incredibly current in the way it poses challenging questions about what constitutes injury, punishment, justice, and revenge in our own time.

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McGuire Erin-Lee Halstad, Manifestations of identity in burial

McGuire Erin-Lee Halstad, Manifestations of identity in burial : evidence from Viking-Age graves in the North Atlantic diaspora,Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir.  C. Batey, Université de Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

In the early Middle Ages, when settlers began to leave Scandinavia to find new homes for themselves and their families, they began a process that impacted their lives dramatically. Research on modern population movements has demonstrated that migration-induced stresses change the lives of immigrants, and shape how they adapt to their new homes. Migration affects societies and people in a number of ways: it changes family and household organisation; gender relations and roles shift; and general social and cultural structures are altered through the integration of different practices and beliefs. While the identification of the societal changes caused by migration has been the focus of research in a number of fields, it has yet to be directly addressed in archaeology. This thesis seeks to examine the ways in which various social identities were displayed through funerary rituals and the associated material culture in the Norse North Atlantic, and to identify how these changed through the course of migration. The analysis is conducted by comparing burial data collected from two regions of Norway, representing the homeland of the migrants, and Scotland and Iceland, representing two critical destination points. Approximately 500 graves are catalogued and assessed using multivariate statistics. Six case studies, selected from the study areas, are used for comparative purposes. The analysis of the overall data-set and the case study sites indicates that there are key differences between the homeland and the communities of the Viking diaspora. Moreover, the results indicate that the circumstances of migration, such as location, resource availability, and the presence of a local population, results in society changing in different, yet significant, ways: gendered burial practices are altered; new manifestations of traditional rites appear; and migrant identities emerge.

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McLennan Alistair, Monstrosity in Old English and Old Icelandic literature

McLennan Alistair, Monstrosity in Old English and Old Icelandic literature, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. K. Lowe, Université de Glasgow)

Résumé/abstract :

The purpose of this thesis is to examine Old English and Old Icelandic literary examples of monstrosity from a modern theoretical perspective. I examine the processes of monstrous change by which humans can become identified as monsters, focusing on the role played by social and religious pressures. In the first chapter, I outline the aspects of monster theory and medieval thought relevant to the role of society in shaping identity, and the ways in which anti-societal behaviour is identified with monsters and with monstrous change. Chapter two deals more specifically with Old English and Old Icelandic social and religious beliefs as they relate to human and monstrous identity. I also consider the application of generic monster terms in Old English and Old Icelandic. Chapters three to six offer readings of humans and monsters in Old English and Old Icelandic literary texts in cases where a transformation from human to monster occurs or is blocked. Chapter three focuses on Grendel and Heremod in Beowulf and the ways in which extreme forms of anti-societal behaviour are associated with monsters. In chapter four I discuss the influence of religious beliefs and secular behaviour in the context of the transformation of humans into the undead in the Íslendingasögur. In chapter five I consider outlaws and the extent to which criminality can result in monstrous change. I demonstrate that only in the most extreme instances is any question of an outlaw’s humanity raised. Even then, the degree of sympathy or admiration evoked by such legendary outlaws as Grettir, Gísli and Hörðr means that though they are ambiguous in life, they may be redeemed in death. The final chapter explores the threats to human identity represented by the wilderness, with specific references to Guthlac A, Andreas and Bárðar saga and the impact of Christianity on the identity of humans and monsters. I demonstrate that analysis of the social and religious issues in Old English and Old Icelandic literary sources permits nuanced readings of monsters and monstrosity which in turn enriches understanding of the texts in their entirety.

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Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made

Raffield Benjamin Paul, Inside that fortress sat a few peasant men, and it was half-made: a study of ‘Viking’ fortifications in the British Isles, AD793-1066, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Birmingham)

Résumé/abstract :

The study of Viking fortifications is a neglected subject which could reveal much to archaeologists about the Viking way of life. The popular representation of these Scandinavian seafarers is often as drunken, bloodthirsty heathens who rampaged across Britain leaving a trail of destruction in their wake. Excavations at Coppergate, York and Dublin however, show that the Vikings developed craft and industry wherever they settled, bringing Britain back into trade routes lost since the collapse of the Roman Empire. These glimpses of domestic life show a very different picture of the Vikings to that portrayed in popular culture. Fortifications provide a compromise to these views, as they are relatively safe, militarised locations where an army in hostile territory can undertake both military and ‘domestic’ activities. This study investigates the historiography of the Vikings and suspected fortification sites in Britain, aiming to understand the processes behind which archaeological sites have been designated as ‘Viking’ in the past. The thesis will also consider the study of Viking fortifications in an international context and attempt to identify future avenues of research that might be taken in an effort to better understand this archaeologically elusive people.

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Ten Harkel Aleida Tessa, Lincoln in the Viking age : a ‘town’ in context

Ten Harkel Aleida Tessa, Lincoln in the Viking age : a ‘town’ in context, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Sheffield)

Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident Regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne

P. Bauduin et A. Musin (dir.), Vers l’Orient et vers l’Occident : regards croisés sur les dynamiques et les transferts culturels des Vikings à la Rous ancienne, Presses universitaires de Caen, Publications du CRAHAM, 2014, 504 p., ISBN : 978-2-84133-499-5, 45 € (Eastwards and Westwards : Multiple Perspectives on the Dynamics and Cultural Transfers from the Vikings to the Early Rus’/ На Запад и на Восток : сравнительное исследование динамики культурного обмена. От викингов к Древней Руси)


Contact et information

Issu d’un projet de recherche franco-russe (CNRS-Académie des Sciences de Russie), ce volume présente les avancées de la recherche récentes sur les Vikings dans une perspective pluridisciplinaire et comparatiste largement ouverte à l’Europe orientale. Il confronte les vues de chercheurs de plusieurs disciplines travaillant sur différentes sources et qui se rattachent à des méthodologies ou à des traditions historiographiques diverses plus ou moins marquées idéologiquement.

L’ouvrage propose de réfléchir sur les dynamiques des échanges culturels analysées comme un processus d’interactions qui franchissent les groupes ethniques ou sociaux, les pays, les croyances et les pratiques religieuses, les générations, les genres. Il s’agit de s’interroger sur les particularités de ces processus et sur les transformations mutuelles des fondations scandinaves ainsi que des sociétés locales (franque, anglo-saxonne, slave, finnoise). Une large part est accordée aux acteurs de ces changements (élites, marchands, hommes d’Église, artisans, femmes, scaldes, historiographes….), ainsi qu’aux lieux ou aux espaces où celles-ci interviennent. La signification de la mémoire historique relative à la présence scandinave dans le passé régional ou national en Europe et l’impact mémoriel sur la formation des représentations de l’autre, des identités et des historiographies médiévales ou modernes sont également abordés. Le volume participe ainsi à une réflexion plus large sur les notions débattues d’acculturation, de transferts culturels, de middle ground dont l’intérêt heuristique dépasse largement le phénomène de l’expansion scandinave à l’époque viking.

The result of a Franco-Russian Research project (CNRS – Russian Academy of Sciences), this publication presents the latest advances of recent research on the Vikings in a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective across Eastern Europe. It confronts the views of researchers from several disciplines working on different sources which reflect diverse methodological or historiographical traditions that have been, to some extent, marked ideologically.

The volume proposes a reflection on the dynamics of cultural exchanges analysed as a process of interactions that have traversed ethnic or social groups, countries, religious beliefs and practices, generations, genders. Questions concerning the specificities of these processes and the reciprocal transformations of Scandinavian settlements and local societies (Frankish, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic, Finnish) are posed. A large part of the volume is devoted to the actors involved in these changes (elites, merchants, ecclesiastics, artisans, women, skalds, historiographers….), and the places or areas where they took place. The significance of historical memory in the European regional or national past concerning the Scandinavian presence and the impact of this memory on the creation of representations of the other, identities and medieval or modern historiography are equally discussed. This publication thus participates to the broader reflection on the notions discussed concerning acculturation, cultural transfers and the “middle ground” whose heuristic interest goes far beyond the phenomenon of Scandinavian expansion during the Viking era.

L’historiographie médiévale normande et ses sources antiques (Xe-XIIe siècle)

Actes du colloque de Cerisy-la-Salle et du Scriptorial d’Avranches (8-11 octobre 2009)

publiés sous la direction de Pierre Bauduin et Marie-Agnès Lucas-Avenel

2014, 16×24 cm, broché, 380 p., ISBN : 978-2-84133-485-8

Presses universitaires de Caen

30 €

Les Normands au Moyen Âge se sont passionnés pour l’histoire. Soucieux de faire œuvre de mémoire, les auteurs médiévaux relatent les origines du duché et la destinée des Normands ; ils célèbrent les exploits de leurs ducs et des chevaliers partis conquérir l’Angleterre et l’Italie du Sud. Lecteurs assidus de la Bible, ils se sont aussi inspirés des œuvres de l’Antiquité gréco-romaine et chrétienne.
Comment, en revendiquant l’héritage des Anciens, ces auteurs ont-ils fait une œuvre originale ? Issu d’un colloque interdisciplinaire qui a réuni des spécialistes français, anglais et italiens à Cerisy-la-Salle et à Avranches, ce volume apporte des réponses à cette question, à partir de l’examen renouvelé des bibliothèques normandes et au travers de l’analyse des modèles littéraires ou des stratégies d’imitation mises au service de projets historiographiques différents.