Archives de catégorie : Danemark / Denmark

La saga des rois de Danemark – Knýtlinga saga

Illustration ci-dessus : Copie de la Knýtlinga saga (AM 18 fol., Den Arnamagnæanske Samling, Copenhague) par Árni Magnússon (1663-1730) à partir d’un manuscrit daté d’environ 1300 et détruit lors du grand incendie de Copenhague en 1728. Cette version est aujourd’hui le témoignage le plus important de la saga. 

La saga des rois de Danemark – Knýtlinga saga. Traduite du norrois et présentée par Simon Lebouteiller. Toulouse, Anacharsis, 2021.

La saga des rois de Danemark – Knýtlinga sagaLa Saga des Knýtlingar représente à plus d’un titre un témoignage important sur l’histoire du Danemark médiéval, et plus généralement de la Scandinavie et des régions avoisinantes à cette époque. Rédigée en Islande entre 1235 et 1300 — probablement durant les années 1250-1270 —, elle raconte l’épopée des souverains danois sur deux siècles et demi, des premiers rois chrétiens de l’époque viking à l’année 1187. Associant récits historiques et légendaires, elle dépeint les règnes de personnages emblématiques tels que Haraldr à la Dent Bleue, qui se convertira au christianisme et imposera la nouvelle foi à son royaume unifié au Xᵉ siècle, ou Knútr le Grand qui s’emparera également des trônes d’Angleterre et de Norvège au XIᵉ siècle, se constituant de cette manière un véritable « Empire de la mer du Nord ».
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Beñat Elortza, A comparative analysis of the transformation of the Scandinavian military apparatus from a European perspective, c. 1035-1202

Beñat Elortza, A comparative analysis of the transformation of the Scandinavian military apparatus from a European perspective, c. 1035-1202, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2017 (Université d’Aberdeen)

Continuer la lecture de Beñat Elortza, A comparative analysis of the transformation of the Scandinavian military apparatus from a European perspective, c. 1035-1202

Louisa Taylor, Moderation and restraint in the North : ideals of elite conduct in High Medieval England, Norway and Denmark

Louisa Taylor, Moderation and restraint in the North : ideals of elite conduct in High Medieval England, Norway and Denmark, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2016 (University College London)

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Boestad, Tobias


Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) 
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The Key to Uppåkra: digitizing a unique archeological cultural heritage

Responsables du projet/Project leaders : Torbjörn Ahlström (, Mats Roslund (

Établissements principaux/Main institutions : Historical Archaeology

Department of Archaeology and Ancient History, Lund University

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

The purpose of the project The Key to Uppåkra is to create an integrated database containing spatial and chronological information from the archaeological investigations at Uppåkra in Scania, connected to a visual collection of the artefacts for further research and public visualization of the extensive sources. Firstly, it will secure the quality of and access to the archaeological documentation from the site. In the project, eighteen years of very diverse archaeological investigations are synchronised into a coherent digital frame, by using Intrasis and GIS, translating digital data into visual format. Secondly, parallel to the temporal-spatial ordering, 28 000 artefacts will be photographed and made accessible on the Internet by the use of K-Samsök and Europeana, two commonly used facilities in museums. This opens up possibilities for research on societal change during the politically formative period for early Scandinavian states, based on a site with extremely long settlement continuity. The database will be internationally accessible to scholars, as well as the public, through open access. The mobilization for a database will be the launchpad for sustainable knowledge, with national and international impact. Uppåkra will be important for scholars occupied with questions on pre-urban societies and how they were established and transformed into towns, in their ecological, social and cultural context. As such, the Uppåkra database will have a global scope.

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Grabowski Radoslaw, Cereal husbandry and settlement : Expanding archaeobotanical perspectives on the southern Scandinavian Iron Age

Grabowski Radoslaw, Cereal husbandry and settlement : Expanding archaeobotanical perspectives on the southern Scandinavian Iron Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. K. Viklund, Umeå universitet)

Résumé/abstract :

The here presented PhD project explores the phenomenon of cereal cultivation during the Iron Age (c. 500 BC – AD 1100) in southern Scandinavia. The main body of the thesis consists of four articles. These were written with the aim to identify chronological, geographical, theoretical and methodological gaps in current research, to develop, apply and evaluate approaches to how new knowledge on Iron Age cereal cultivation can be attained, and to assess the interaction between archaeobotany and other specialisms currently used in settlement archaeology. The introduction section of the thesis also contains a historical overview of archaeobotanical research on cereal cultivation in southern Scandinavia. The first article is a compilation and summary of all available previously performed  archaeobotanical investigations in southern Sweden. This data is compared and discussed in relation to similar publications in Denmark and smaller scale compilations previously published in Sweden. The main result of the study is an updated and enhanced understanding of the main developments in the investigation area and a deepened knowledge of local development chronologies and trajectories in different parts of southern Sweden. The second article is a methodological presentation of a multiproxy analysis combining plant macrofossil analysis, phosphate analysis, magnetic susceptibility analysis and measurement of soil organic matter by loss on ignition. The applicability of the method for identification and delineation of space functions on southern Scandinavian Iron Age sites is discussed and illustrated by two case studies from the Danish site of Gedved Vest. Particular focus is placed on exploration of the use of the functional analysis for assessment of taphonomic and operational contexts of carbonised plant macrofossil assemblages. The third article aims at presenting an Iron Age cereal cultivation history for east-central Jutland, an area identified at the outset of the project as under-represented in archaeobotanical studies. The article combines data from depth analyses of material from the sites of Gedved Vest and Kristinebjerg Øst (analysed with the methods and theory presented in the second article) with a compilation of previously performed archaeobotanical analyses from east-central Jutland. The main results of the study are that developments in the study area appear to follow a chronology similar to that previously observed on Funen rather than the rest of the peninsula. Rye cultivation is furthermore discussed as more dynamic and flexible than previously presented in Scandinavian archaeobotanical literature. The fourth and final article leaves archaeobotany as the main topic. It focuses instead on evaluating, theorising and expanding the multiproxy method presented in the second article by a thorough comparison of the botanical, geochemical and geophysical methods to other techniques of functional analysis currently used in archaeology. These techniques include studies of artefact distributions, assessments of spatial relations between settlement features, and studies of the structural details of dwellings and other constructions. The main result is that there is a correspondence between the functional indications provided by botanical, geochemical and geophysical methods and techniques used in mainstream archaeology. The comparison furthermore shows that a combination of the two data sets allows for more highly resolved functional interpretations than if they are used separately. The main conclusion of the PhD thesis, based on the discussions in all four articles, is that archaeobotanical questions commonly necessitate the assessment of non-botanical archaeological material. The comparison of archaeobotanical data to other segments of the archaeological record does, however, enable the use of the former as an archaeological resource for addressing non-botanical questions. The increased understanding of (mainly settlement) site dynamics resulting from this integration of methods allows archaeobotanists to address increasingly complex botanical questions. Increased and more structured integration between archaeobotany and other specialisms operating within the framework of settlement archaeology is therefore argued to be the preferred approach to performing both high quality archaeobotany and settlement archaeology.

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Svensson Ola, Nämnda ting men glömda. Ortnamn, landskap och rättsutövning

Svensson Ola, Nämnda ting men glömda. Ortnamn, landskap och rättsutövning  [Named but forgotten things: Place-names, landscape and justice], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2015, (dir. G. Byrman, S. Nyström, Linnéuniversitetet)

Résumé/abstract :

The dissertation describes the names related to justice and places in the landscape where justice was administered, applying an interdisciplinary perspective with place names as the chief source material. One aim is to collect and describe place names in Skåne designating or indirectly associated with meeting places and districts of the court, and to study the named places. The study covers many different periods, but especially the Middle Ages and the transition from the Late Iron Age to the Middle Ages. The analysis raises questions such as: Was there continuity in judicial sites between prehistoric and historic times? How old are the hundreds (härader)? Is there a spatial link between judicial sites and other central functions such as cult, markets, or rulers’ estates? The work is permeated by material-based onomastic research in combination with current perspectives in text research, historical geography, and archaeology. Nine case studies are conducted to describe the interaction between place, linguistic expression, and meaning. The study demonstrates the existence of a large corpus of names reflecting the early administration of justice. Most of the many field names which contain ting ‘court’ and galge ‘gallows’ can be related to the actual administration of justice. The medieval sites where courts assembled and people were executed stand out in particular, but in many cases these have prehistoric roots. Both unbroken continuity and the reuse of earlier places of assembly may be assumed. Close to sites with names indicating the administration of justice there are also landscape features with names that grant epic and mythical status to the locale. The special quality of these places was handed down, incorporated in larger narratives, based on changing ideas and circumstances in different periods. The landscape of the hundred courts (häradsting) is archaic, magnificent and mythical, and shared, qualities that contributed to the maintenance and legitimation of judicial practice. A division into a general, public judicial sphere and a more limited and exclusive sphere can be seen. In the medieval exercise of justice this division is manifested in two different judicial districts – härad and birk – but the phenomenon can be traced back to the Late Iron Age. The study also problematizes a traditional image of the names of the hundreds.

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McLeod, Shane. The Beginning of Scandinavian Settlement in England. The Viking ‘Great Army’ and Early Settlers, c. 865-90

McLeod, Shane. The Beginning of Scandinavian Settlement in England. The Viking ‘Great Army’ and Early Settlers, c. 865-900

Turnhout: Brepols, 2014. Pp. xv, 319, 8 figures, 6 maps, 3 tables. EUR 80.00.  ISBN: 978-2-503-54556-1.

  Reviewed by P. Holm, Trinity College Dublin

  In The Medieval review

Historians, archaeologists, and philologists have debated the character and extent of Scandinavian settlement like hardly any other phenomenon in Anglo-Saxon England, and more than seventy years after the publication of F.M. Stenton’s ground-breaking Anglo-Saxon England (Oxford, 1943) agreement on the main issues seems far away. McLeod therefore does all parties a great service by assembling and reviewing a good deal of the pieces that make up the puzzle. He boldly imagines some new pieces to make a full picture emerge. Many readers will value McLeod’s book for its up-to-date review, while the model suggested may encourage further research. Continuer la lecture de McLeod, Shane. The Beginning of Scandinavian Settlement in England. The Viking ‘Great Army’ and Early Settlers, c. 865-90

Dillmann, François-Xavier

Directeur d’études

École pratique des Hautes Études 

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66 Manuscripts from the Arnamagnæan Collection

2015, 248 pp., hb
159 illustrations
ISBN 978-87-635-4264-7

This volume commemorates the three-hundred-fiftieth anniversary of the birth of the Icelandic scholar and antiquarian Árni Magnússon, who served as secretary of the Royal Archives and professor of Danish antiquities at the University of Copenhagen, in addition to building the most important collection of early Scandinavian manuscripts in existence.

The book presents descriptions of sixty-six manuscripts from the collection, one for each year of Magnússon’s life, complemented by high-quality color photographs, a comprehensive introduction to Magnússon’s life, and a chapter on book production in the medieval period.

Published in collaboration with the Arnamagnæan Institute at the Department of Nordic Research, Copenhagen and the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, Reykjavík.

M.J. Driscoll is senior lecturer in Old Norse philology at the University of Copenhagen and head of the Arnamagnæan Institute.

Svanhildur Óskarsdóttir is head of the Manuscript Department at the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies in Reykjavík, Iceland.

Corsi Maria, Elite networks and courtly culture in medieval Denmark

Corsi Maria, Elite networks and courtly culture in medieval Denmark: Denmark in Europe, 1st to 14th centuries, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. Sally N. Vaughn, University of Houston)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation advances the study of the cultural integration of Denmark with continental Europe in the Middle Ages. By approaching the question with a view to the longue durée, it argues that Danish aristocratic culture had been heavily influenced by trends on the Continent since at least the Roman Iron Age, so that when Denmark adopted European courtly culture, it did so simultaneously to its development in the rest of Europe. Because elite culture as it manifested itself in the Middle Ages was an amalgamation of that of Ancient Rome and the Geiuianic tribes, its origins in Denmark is sought in the interactions between the Danish territory and the Roman Empire. Elites in Denmark sought to emulate Roman culture as a marker of status, with pan-European elite networks facilitating the incorporation of Roman material items and social norms in Denmark, thus setting the pattern for later periods. These types of networks continued to play an important role in the interactions between Denmark and the successor kingdoms to the Roman Empire in the Early Middle Ages, leading to the development of an increasingly homogenized elite culture in Denmark and on the Continent. Danish elites drew on the material and ideological cultural models of their southern neighbors, using Frankish imports to signify status and power, much as Roman imports had been used earlier. The economic, diplomatic, and military ties that developed in the Early Middle Ages remained important conduits for the adoption of European aristocratic culture into the High Middle Ages, while the conversion to Christianity by the Danes enabled Danish elites to take part in the new educational networks associated with the rise of universities across Europe. All of these long-standing ties meant that the Danish aristocracy actively participated in the development of medieval courtly culture, including cavalry warfare and knighthood, courtly food consumption and feasting, and courtly dress and ornamentation, resulting in increased social differentiation between those who could take part in the new courtly culture and those who could not. Thus, Denmark was never outside of Europe, and when Danish elites adopted medieval chivalric and courtly culture, they did so contemporaneously with their counterparts in other parts of Europe.

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Marchlewski Ann-Katrin, St. Cnut of Denmark, king and martyr

Marchlewski Ann-Katrin, St. Cnut of Denmark, king and martyr: his Lives, their authors and the politics of his cult (c.1086-1200), Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. P. Hayward, Lancaster University)

Aucun résumé retrouvé/No abstract available.

Gazzoli Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century

Gazzoli, Paul, Anglo-Danish relations in the later eleventh century, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. F. Edmonds, University of Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis puts forward a new interpretation of the Anglo-Danish relationship for the period 1042-1103. It is argued that the impact of the Scandinavian settlement of England in the ninth and tenth centuries cannot account for the Danish sympathies visible in northern and eastern England in the later eleventh century and proposes that the Danish identity of these areas was reinvigorated or reinvented following Cnut’s conquest of England as a way for the inhabitants to identify themselves with their new rulers. This revitalisation was most pronounced in Northumbria, where, since Cnut was an absent ruler for much of his reign, the most important figure is argued to have been the highly successful Earl Siward. It is suggested that in this period England took on a central role in the formation of Danish identity, so that men from all over Scandinavia could become Danish by participating in the Danish kings’ campaigns; this inclusiveness was what made it possible for natives of England of Scandinavian descent to opt in to the new, prestigious identity of the conquerors.

After the Norman Conquest, a Danish cultural identity was still politically important to the rule of Siward’s son, Waltheof, and affected the reception of the Danish invasions of 1069 and 1070, both by the locals where the Danes landed and by the writers who described them. Denmark’s history after the loss of England in 1042 is also considered, and it is argued that English influence continued to be of the utmost importance to the Danish kings’ self-image and religious interests: in particular it is argued that Knud the Holy (1080–6) drew inspiration from and modelled himself on William the Conqueror, to whose rule he was exposed during his campaigns in England in 1069, 1070 and 1075 and that Erik Ejegod (1095-1103) built up strong relations to English religious communities beginning during his exile during the reign of Oluf Hunger (1086-95), which he used during his reign to promote Christianity in Denmark, especially in the form of the cult of his martyred brother Knud. In general, the re-conquest of England continued to be one of their highest priorities of the Danish kings until the end of the century, but was often hampered by the increasing importance of relations with the German Empire.

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Ravn Morten, Bygning og brug af skibe til krigsførelse i 1000-tallets danske rige

Ravn Morten, Bygning og brug af skibe til krigsførelse i 1000-tallets danske rige, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. Université de Copenhague)

Résumé/abstract :
 Afhandlingen sandsynliggør ressourcemæssige, organisatoriske og operationelle aspekter i forbindelse med bygning og brug af skibe anvendt til krigsførelse i 1000-tallets danske rige. Mange forskellige håndværk var involveret i skibsbygningen, og viden og kunnen blev udviklet og overført til næste generation via praksisfællesskaber. De anvendte ressourcer var nøje udvalgte, og flere var sandsynligvis manipulerede, for eksempel via afbarkning og stævning. Endvidere er det sandsynligt, at enkelte ressourcer blev reserveret til skibsbygning, og at snekkestednavnene i nogle tilfælde skal ses som et udtryk for dette. Forskellige fartøjstyper deltog i de militære operationer og krigsflåderne havde vidt forskellige størrelser. De små krigsflåder kunne sandsynligvis bygges og vedligeholdes af en enkelt stormand eller konge, mens bygning og vedligeholdelse af de store krigsflåder udelukkende var mulig i kraft af sammenslutninger mellem stormænd og konge. Om bord på fartøjerne har mandskab og skib indgået i et dialektisk samspil, hvor skibets design har formet besætningens organisation og kommunikation. Praksis om bord på mandskabsskibene medvirkede til at skabe en stærk og velfungerende kampenhed. Styrken i 1000-tallets skandinaviske krigsførelse var de hurtige og uventede angreb, og midlet til at føre denne taktik ud i livet var skibet og dets bevæbnede besætning.

Jessen Mads, The sacred space in a time of religious change

Jessen Mads, The sacred space in a time of religious change: Material and conceptual interaction in ritual environments during the Christianization of South Scandinavia, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (Université d’Aarhus)