Archives de catégorie : Norvège / Norway

Boestad, Tobias


Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV) 
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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.

Karlsen Espen (éd.), Latin manuscripts of medieval Norway: studies in memory of Lilli Gjerløw

Karlsen Espen (éd.), Latin manuscripts of medieval Norway: studies in memory of Lilli Gjerløw, Oslo, Novus Press, 2013, 424 p. ISBN: 978-82-7099-722-0

Compte rendu par/Review by : Jenny Jochens

The Medieval Review

Date : 10 Mar 2014

This large and beautiful book takes an important step into a new discipline: the study of fragments of medieval manuscripts. Available in all Scandinavian countries, this resource is particularly abundant in Norway. The volume is also a festschrift to honor Lilli Gjerløw, the outstanding pioneer in this field who died at the age of 88 in 1998 and to whom I shall return. It is well know that England played a large role in the Christianization of Norway. Arriving in the ninth century, English missionaries succeeded in converting numerous numbers of the population and establishing churches. Missionaries and monks celebrated services in Latin using the liturgy they knew from home and requiring books that were brought from England. Eventually Norwegians themselves learned to procure manuscripts from abroad and to employ scribes who were taught by English professionals established in the country. Like other medieval countries, Norway in this way came to possess sizeable libraries attached to churches and monasteries that contained enduring parchment manuscripts written mainly in Latin but later also in Old Norse. In the beginning these books contained the liturgy required in the services, so that changes adopted by the international church can be followed in their texts. As Christianity became firmly established, Norwegians progressed into Patristic writings as well as the classic medieval authors whose texts they also acquired or copied.

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Busigyn Alexander, The Christian laws of medieval Norway

Busigyn Alexander, The Christian laws of medieval Norway: ecclesiastical tradition and legal innovation on the periphery of the Christian West, (dir. H. Antonsson, D. d’Avray, University College London)

En cours depuis 2011/In preparation since 2011

Aucun résumé retrouvé/No abstract available

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Long Ann-Marie, The relationship between Iceland and Norway, c.870-1100

Long Ann-Marie, The relationship between Iceland and Norway, c.870-1100, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. E. Johnston, University College Dublin)

Aucun résumé retrouvé/No abstract available

Osborne Emily, Thinking outside the hall: the conceptual boundaries of Skaldic verse

Osborne, Emily, Thinking outside the hall: the conceptual boundaries of Skaldic verse, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. J. Quinn, University of Cambridge)

Royal courts, ships, battle-fields, farms, forests, churches, prisons – in the Icelandic and Norwegian sagas, a myriad of locations provide the backdrop in which skalds perform complex poetry for diverse audiences. Skaldic verses are generally framed as verbal responses to actual events: events which not only medieval sagas, but also modern scholars, have attempted to re-construct. This dissertation considers the discourse of performance employed in skaldic verses, yet looks beyond the familiar relationship between skald and royal patron, exploring instead the ways in which skalds engage various performance contexts both real and imagined, as well as multiple audiences who are present and absent, male and female, past and future, human and divine. Many non-encomiastic verses from the tenth to twelfth centuries communicate beyond the literal occasion to which they ostensibly respond by invoking absent, female and future audiences. Chapters One and Two consider ways in which lausavísur: associate audiences with specific locations by means of verb tense, apostrophe, deixis and periphrasis; reveal the skald’s concern for the preservation and dissemination of his verse within an oral poetic community; and are incorporated into retrospective, and often discrepant, narrative re-performances. Analysis of this dynamic discourse of performance and re-performance is informed by theoretical discussion, both medieval and modern, of deixis, apostrophe, oratorical solecism and narratology. After the twelfth century, the increasing influence of Christian devotional culture significantly altered the relationship between skald and audience. Religious poems were used for meditative reading and spiritual instruction in addition to (or in lieu of) public performance. Christian hermeneutics reframed medieval understandings of the relationships among the spoken, written and performative word. Chapters Three and Four consider ways in which traditional skaldic rhetoric, including deixis and periphrasis, was adapted to the ethnographic discourse of prayer, which negotiates among audiences human, divine, absent, prospective and immanent. Analysis in these chapters of the evolving discourse of performance and re-performance focuses on another female audience who is simultaneously present, absent and prospective – the Virgin Mary.

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Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog [Dictionary of old norse prose]

Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog [Dictionary of old norse prose]

Établissement principal/Main institution : University of CopenhagenDescription :

In 1939 the dictionary project was incorporated in the Danish state budget in the form of an annual subvention to Den Arnamagnæanske Kommission, “The Arnamagnæan Commission”, which was responsible for the administration and publication of the completed work. The Arnamagnæan Commission is named after the Icelandic scholar Árni Magnússon (1663-1730), professor at the University of Copenhagen, who built up a large collection of Icelandic manuscripts, which he bequeathed to the university together with his books and the rest of his estate. During approximately the first 40 years, the project’s limited staff was principally engaged in an excerpting of the corpus with a view to replacing the two major previous dictionaries from the nineteenth century, Johan Fritzner, Ordbog over Det gamle norske Sprog (Kristiania, 1886-1896) and Richard Cleasby & Gudbrand Vigfusson, An Icelandic-English Dictionary (Oxford, 1874, 2. rev. ed. 1957). The excerpting was selective. Each text was read by two editors who marked the items for which slips were subsequently written out by assistants.

In 1983 a prospectus was published and this was followed in 1989 by the volume of indices, which with its survey of the dictionary’s corpus also forms an independent handbook to the study of Old Norse: Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog: Registre (A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose: Indices) Copenhagen, 1989. The first volume of the dictionary proper appeared in 1995: Ordbog over det norrøne prosasprog 1: a – bam (A Dictionary of Old Norse Prose 1: a – bam) Copenhagen, 1995, the second, ban – da in 2000 and the third, de – em in 2004.

In 2005 the Arnamagnæan Commission took a new decision concerning ONP’s lexicographical activities. Thanks to a generous extra grant from the Danish Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, three years were spent making all of the unedited dictionary citations available on the Internet. These slips, often in photographic form, are linked to images of the printed page from which each citation was excerpted, thus providing a broader context than the slip itself offers. The fruits of this project are what you now find via the Wordlist.

In the course of preparing materials for publication, a number of useful Indexes were formed and incorporated in their first version in the volume of indexes referred to above.

As a second phase of this digitalisation project, planned to last six years, a limited section of the vocabulary has been selected for draft-editing. The choice has fallen on simplex nouns.These are edited in temporary form by one editor alone, and only in one metalanguage (either Danish or English), to be posted on the web for comment and criticism. Other word classes, as yet only verbs and prepositions, are structured formally with a minimum of explanation. The results can be seen in New articles, updates, etc.

In January 2010 the management of ONP was taken over by Nordisk Forskningsinstitut/Department of Scandinavian Research, so the dictionary project is now integrated with the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Copenhagen.

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Carlsen Christian, Old Norse visions of the afterlife

Carlsen Christian, Old Norse visions of the afterlife, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. H. O’Donoghue,  Université d’Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :
The nature of life after death is only tentatively sketched out in the canonical writings of the Christian Church, yet it represents one of the most prominent literary subjects in medieval Europe. The so-called Visiones represent a genre that enjoyed a particularly broad dissemination between the fourth and thirteenth centuries. This study aims to assess the impact of this Latin tradition on Norse-Icelandic authors and processes of cultural appropriation evident in medieval vernacular adaptations of the genre. The first chapter outlines the historical and theological conditions surrounding the genre’s dissemination in Western Scandinavia and identifies the primary corpus of vernacular adaptations of the genre to be analysed in this study. Chapter II considers the literary contexts in which Visio-conventions have been integrated, highlighting the distinctive generic and creative diversity exhibited in the primary corpus. Chapters III and IV are concerned with the literary motif of the journey to the otherworld and its importance in Old Norse literary traditions across the period of Christianisation. The former examines signs of continuity on a conceptual level between traditional native and Christian narratives about the otherworld, suggesting that the journey motif represented a sustained source of literary creativity in pre- and post-conversion societies. The latter examines this notion of continuity with reference to two significant literary symbols, the otherworld shoe and the otherworld bridge, and their pregnant resonances in Norse Icelandic records of myth, law, and religious ritual; it will here be shown how certain symbols found in vernacular accounts of the afterlife produce a rich set of connotations meaningful within their particular cultural setting. The final Chapter analyses the social mentality encoded in portrayals of the idealised hereafter, and it will be argued that portrayals of eschatological justice and the topography of heaven reflect attitudes characteristic of the societies from which these visions emerge. The thesis as a whole thereby calls attention to the broad and deep nature of the Visio genre’s impact on Western Scandinavian literary culture, suggesting that this particular genre-oriented study may serve as a case study of the reception of Christian literary traditions in medieval Iceland and Norway more generally.

Marti Suzanne, An Analysis of the Old Norse and Middle English Translations of Le Conte Du Graal

Marti Suzanne, An Analysis of the Old Norse and Middle English Translations of Le Conte Du Graal, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. K. G. A. Johansson, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

Håkon Håkonsson fikk oversatt franske ridderromaner for å spre høviskhet til det norske hoffet på 1200-tallet. Med ridderne i litteraturen som forbilde, skulle Håkons følgesmenn lære å oppføre seg korrekt, for eksempel overfor kvinner og i duellsituasjoner. Dette viser Suzanne Marti i sin avhandling om Parcevals saga, den norrøne oversettelsen av den gammelfranske romanen Le Conte du Graal.

Hennes analyse av referanser til kongemakt, ridderskap og religion avslører at den franske originalen ble oversatt til norrønt på en systematisk måte. Gjentatte endringer i oversettelsen fører til at kong Arthur og hans hoff er fremstilt mer positivt i den norrøne versjonen. Ferdighetene og prestasjonene til ridderen Parceval, og til og med hans motstandere, er dessuten lagt større vekt på enn i den franske originalen.

Dette tyder på at Håkon Håkonsson hadde en bevisst hensikt da han beordret oversettelsen av slik høvisk litteratur. Ridderromanene skulle ikke bare skape underholdning for hoffet, men også undervise i ridderlighet og sømmelig oppførsel. Sist men ikke minst kan vi se importen av fransk ridderlitteratur som en del av Håkons generelle ønske om å etterligne andre europeiske hoff. Med den nye litteraturen kunne han markedsføre høviske idealer og føydale strukturer, og dermed styrke sin egen maktposisjon.

Glørstad Zanette, Ringspennen og kappen

Glørstad Zanette, Ringspennen og kappen. Kulturelle møter, politiske symboler og sentraliseringsprosesser i Norge ca. 800-950, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir.  L. Hedeager, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé :

Den omfattende ekspansjonen fra Norge mot De britiske øyer besto ikke bare av plyndringstokter og etableringen av norrøne kolonier. Vikingene tok i like stor grad politiske ideer og symboler med seg tilbake til Norge. I en rekke graver i Norge fra vikingtiden er det funnet rester etter store kappespenner som enten har vært hentet fra Irland, eller som er laget i Norge etter irske forbilder. I Irland var disse praktspennene, sammen med tilhørende praktkapper, sentrale statussymboler for ulike kongsdynastier som lå i konflikt med hverandre. Forekomsten av disse spennene i norske graver tyder på at den politiske eliten i Norge i vikingtiden bevisst overførte og innlemmet kappespennen og kappen som politiske symboler i det urolige politiske klimaet på 800- og 900-tallet. Disse symbolene ble trolig aktivt brukt for å skape nye allianseformer som maktgrunnlag for den politiske eliten.

Høyst sannsynlig har den politiske eliten i Norge i denne perioden, inkludert Harald Hårfagre og hans sønner Eirik Blodøks og Håkon den Gode vært engasjert i de omfattende konfliktene om politisk og økonomisk makt rundt Irskesjøen, med Dublin som vitalt senter. Når kappespennen innlemmes som del av drakten for elitens menn i Norge, kan dette derfor relateres både til den sosio-politiske utviklingen rundt Irskesjøen, men også til de interne politiske prosessene i Norge på samme tid. Tidligere har man ment at Harald Hårfagre må ha forsøkt å befeste makten gjennom økonomiske, administrative og militære tiltak. Den bevisste overføringen av irske statussymboler kan tyde på at makten også har vært forsøkt befestet gjennom å innføre ideologiske og rituelle endringer.

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Sarah Baccianti, Telling stories in the medieval north: historical writing and literary artistry in medieval England and medieval Scandinavia

Sarah Baccianti, Telling stories in the medieval north: historical writing and literary artistry in medieval England and medieval Scandinavia, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. O’Donoghue, University of Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :

The primary aim of this study is to highlight the importance of the narrative structure in four texts written in medieval England and Scandinavia: Historia Anglorum, Heimskringla, Historia regum Britanniae and Breta Sögur. These are prose texts written in Anglo-Latin and Old Norse-Icelandic, and all contain some features characteristic of medieval historical writing: interpolation of verses and passages of dialogue, authorial interventions, the use prologues and written sources. These common features show that the medieval historians/chroniclers of medieval England and Scandinavia, in spite of following the dictates of medieval historical writing, nonetheless apply their own particular characteristics, as the chapter on Breta Sögur shows.

The thesis is organised in chronological order, using the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, throughout the work, as work of reference/comparison and of paramount importance to the medieval historians. It begins with Henry of Huntingdon’s Historia Anglorum, which provides a history of England in a continuous narration and in a heavily moralistic tone. It then moves into a discussion of Heimskringla, which also offers a continuous narration of the history of Norway. However, unlike Historia Anglorum, history is depicted through the life of each king and not the various battles and events. Breta Sögur, on the other hand, is an excellent example of how the Scandinavian redactor of the saga adapted and reworked Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia, corroborating the idea that the use of common sources/texts does not necessarily mean that the final result is identical. This thesis explores the ways medieval historians in northern Europe conceived of and transmitted historical facts, but most importantly how the role of the historian, his auctoritas, and his audience shaped the perception of the past, and influenced its modes of perception.

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Naumann Elise, Diet, mobility and social identity in Norway AD 400-1050.

Naumann Elise, Diet, mobility and social identity in Norway AD 400-1050. An investigation based on δ13C, δ15N and 87Sr/86Sr analyses of human remains, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2014, (dir. L. Hedeager,  T. D. Price, M. P. Richards, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

Gjennom isotopanalyser av skjelettmateriale har Elise Naumann vist hvordan mat og kosthold har vært en viktig strukturerende faktor i Norges hierarkiske jernaldersamfunn. «I et land som Norge er det ikke uventet at folk har hatt svært ulikt kosthold. Mer overraskende er det at mennesker som er gravlagt samme sted, og til og med i samme grav, vanligvis ikke har levd av den samme kosten», sier Naumann.

Prosjektet har tatt for seg individer fra perioden 400–1050 e. Kr, og omfatter både enkelt- og dobbeltgraver. I følge Naumann tyder resultatene på at mennesker gravlagt sammen sjelden tilhørte den samme sosiale sfæren: «I noen tilfeller er det mye som tyder på at treller ble gitt som gravgaver, noe vi også kjenner fra skriftlige kilder. Det er imidlertid sterke indikasjoner på at også andre sosiale relasjoner kommer til uttrykk i gravene – noe som viser at både sosial status, kjønn, alder, arbeidsfordeling og andre faktorer kan ha hatt betydning for hva folk fikk å spise».

Til tross for komplekse forhold mellom kosthold og sosial tilhørighet, tyder resultatene på at eliten har hatt mer tilgang på kjøtt og melkeprodukter, mens enkelte individer gravlagt i svært funnfattige graver har spist mye sjømat i den siste tiden før de døde. «Samtidig ser vi at svært mange spiser annerledes som voksne enn de gjorde som barn», sier Naumann. «Dette kan tyde på at jernalder-mennesket ikke nødvendigvis forble i samme sosiale rolle hele livet gjennom. Mange har endret både tilholdssted og levesett betydelig i løpet av livet – kanskje har de også endret sin sosiale posisjon».

Rundberget Bernt, Jernets dunkle dimensjon. Jernvinna i sørlige Hedmark.

Rundberget Bernt, Jernets dunkle dimensjon. Jernvinna i sørlige Hedmark. Sentral økonomisk faktor og premiss for samfunnsutvikling c. AD 700 – 1300, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. C. Prescott, J. H. Larsen, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

I tidlig middelalder (ca. 950-1300 e. Kr.) pågikk det i Hedmarks skoger en jernutvinning uten sidestykke i norsk målestokk. Utallige spor etter en unik teknologi utviklet på 700-tallet vitner om en fordums virksomhet som involverte store deler av regionen. I avhandlingen trekker Rundberget frem dimensjonen som et nøkkelbegrep. Beregninger viser at så mye som 130 000 tonn jern kan ha blitt produsert i sen vikingtid og tidlig middelalder. Rundberget argumenterer for at dette jernet må ha vært et økonomisk fundament i samfunnsutviklingen fra høvding- til kongedømme. Synet bryter med historieforskningen som fremmer jordbruket som nærmest enerådende faktor for økonomisk utvikling i perioden.

Det avdekkes at det på 600-tallet ble etablert et høvdingsamfunn i Solør som utviklet en særegen metode for å utvinne jern i stor skala. Teknologien spredte seg nordover og omfattet på det største regionen fra Eidskog til Stor-Elvdal. Utvinningen ble på et tidspunkt underlagt kongen ved at han tok kontroll over distribusjon og handelsknutepunkter. I en periode på 250 år hadde kronen store inntekter gjennom handel med jern. På slutten av 1200-tallet kom det imidlertid til en rask nedgang og jernvinna var lagt død rett før 1300. Bortfallet sees i sammenheng med en feilslått overregional handelspolitikk, samtidig som det ble utviklet en storstilt masovnproduksjon i den svenske Bergslagen. Jernvinna i Hedmark ble dermed utkonkurrert på pris samtidig som handelsforbindelser og nettverk ble brutt. En æra i norsk jernvinnehistorie var over.