Langeslag Paul Sander, Seasonal Setting and the Human Domain in Early English and Early Scandinavian Literature, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)
The contrast between the familiar social space and the world beyond has been widely recognised as an organising principle in medieval literature, in which the natural and the supernatural alike are set off against human society as alien and hostile. However, the study of this antithesis has typically been restricted to the spatial aspect whereas the literature often exhibits seasonal patterns as well. This dissertation modifies the existing paradigm to accommodate the temporal dimension, demonstrating that winter stands out as a season in which the autonomy of the human domain is drawn into question in both Anglo-Saxon and early Scandinavian literature. In Old English poetry, winter is invoked as a landscape category connoting personal affliction and hostility, but it is rarely used to evoke a cyclical chronology. Old Icelandic literature likewise employs winter as a spatial category, here closely associated with the dangerous supernatural. However, Old Icelandic prose furthermore give winter a place in the annual progression of the seasons, which structures all but the most legendary of the sagas. Accordingly, the winter halfyear stands out as the near-exclusive domain of revenant hauntings and prophecy. These findings stand in stark contrast to the state of affairs in Middle English poetry, which associates diverse kinds of adventure and supernatural interaction with florid landscapes of spring and summer, and Maytime forests in particular. Even so, the seasonal imagery in <em>Sir Gawain and the Green Knight</em> makes clear that Middle English poets could use the contrastive functions of winter to no less effect than authors in neighbouring corpora. In partial explanation of authorial choices in this regard, it is proposed that winter settings are employed especially where a strong empathic response is desired of the audience.
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)
Hufnagel Silvia, Sörla saga sterka – Studies in the Transmission of a fornaldarsaga, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. M. Driscoll, Université de Copenhague)
The present thesis investigates the transmission history of Sörla saga sterka, one of the younger fornaldarsögur. The methodological background to the study is the sociology of texts and material philology. The aim of the study is threefold: First, to trace the transmission history of the saga; second, to examine possible connections between the socio-economic background of scribes and commissioners and the material and textual aspects of the manuscripts they produced; and third, to prepare an electronic multi-text edition of Sörla saga sterka which presents the findings of this study. Underlying this research are XLM-encoded transcriptions of all extant texts, produced in accordance with the Guidelines proposed by the Text Encoding Initiative. A definition of the term ‘version’ is given, in keeping with which it is demostrated that Sörla saga sterka survives in three distinct versions which differ in length, level of detail and dramatic suspense, explanation of deeds or motivation, depiction of characters and even the narrative structure. Version A is contained in more manuscripts from the earlier eighteenth century, and version C rather more often in manuscripts from the latter half of the century. By the second half of the nineteenth century, however, version A had replaced version C, which is most likely due to the influence of printed editions. These printed editions did not bring about the end of the manuscript transmission of the saga, but in fact became part of that transmission. The manuscripts have been divided into two groups; scholarly and non-scholarly. The extent of textual variation of the texts contained in scholarly manuscripts is very limited. These texts reflect the traditions of textual criticism of their time and were used as predecessors of printed editions, work tools for scholars and as replacements of hard-to-come-by printed editions. Textual variation in the texts in non- scholarly manuscripts is more varied. Some show hardly any variation, while others show some variation, having either a slightly less or a slightly more oral style. A third group of texts shows a good deal of textual variation. Some of the variation can be traced back to the intentions of the scribes or commissioners, as confirmed by comparisons with other saga texts and the compilation patterns of the manuscripts in question. Material aspects of the manuscripts were then examined; the relationship between the size of the written area and of the leaves, the number of abbreviations per line and the text density in terms of the number of written chararcters per square metre of text. This, together with the level of decoration, was then compared with the socio-economic background of the manuscripts’ scribes or commissioners, where known. The scholarly manuscripts differ markedly from the non-scholarly ones in having larger margins, fewer abbreviations and a lower text density. The non-scholarly manuscripts can in turn be divided into subgroups, although the differences are not as clear-cut as between them and the scholarly ones. Prestigious manuscripts, usually written by wealthy scribes or for wealthy commissioners, have more decoration and tend to have larger margins, rather fewer abbreviations and a somewhat lower text density. Plain and unadorned manuscripts, the ‘paperbacks’ of their day, have no decoration and tend to have smaller margins, a greater number of abbreviations and rather higher text density. The prestigious manuscripts tend to be among the older of the preserved manuscripts and the ‘paperbacks’ among the younger. A third group combines features of both groups, prestigious and ‘paperback’.
Holm Olof, Självägarområdenas egenart : Jämtland och andra områden i Skandinavien med småskaligt jordägande 900–1500, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. L. Runefelt, O. Ferm, Université de Stockholm)
This thesis takes its departure from the fact that in the 16th century there were some regions in Scandinavia where almost all land was held by freeholders, while in other regions large areas of land were held by landlords. The aim of the study is to determine which factors had been decisive in the development of this regional variation. One factor is known from earlier research: the conditions for farming, dependent on climate and natural features. In this thesis the author points out another important factor, namely the conditions for people in the countryside to acquire surplus from trade. This is done through an in-depth investigation of the society of Jämtland in the period AD 900–1500, which is then compared with other freeholders’ regions, treated briefly.It is observed that the landownership had been small-scale or mostly small-scale in all these regions for many centuries before the 16th century, and that there are strong indications of the wealthiest farmers being traders and having their surplus mostly drawn from trade activities. It is reasonable to believe that the lack of willingness to invest in estates in these regions was due to the fact that those who had resources gave priority to investments in interregional and regional trade instead. They probably saw better chances of gaining more surplus from trade activities than from the agrarian economy, given the conditions for trading and crop cultivation, respectively, that were prevailing there. In such a region, hence, an important economic force for estate-formation was missing. This will explain why certain regions, like Jämtland or Gotland, developed into and remained as freeholders’ regions.Another observation concerns the social structure of freeholders’ regions. It is observed that the societies in these regions seem to have been less hierarchical on the local level than societies in regions dominated by landlords – even though the differences in fortunes could be great.
Fried Alexandra, The Swedish Madonnas : a comparative study of wooden sculptures of the Virgin and Child between 1250 and 1350, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. P. Lindley, D. Ekserdjian, Université de Leicester)
This thesis provides a new overview of the wooden, sculpted image of the Madonna and Child in thirteenth – and early fourteenth – century Sweden. It comprises five parts: a socio-political and economic contextualisation of the images; a critique of the existing literature in the form of an analytical bibliography; a detailed evaluation of the sculptures; a catalogue of selected material; and a bibliography. In Chapter one, the historical examination discusses the Scandinavian context between 1250 and 1350. Scandinavia was then a thriving area, both economically and culturally, and was far less isolated and inward looking than art-historical analyses have hitherto assumed. However, Scandinavia was not a stable region in the period; borders were constantly revised as a result of political and military changes. Trade links also changed and brought with them different influences. Building on the works of Aron Andersson, Andreas Lindblom, C.R af Ugglas, Rune Norberg, Peter Tångeberg, Lena Liepe, Carina Jacobsson and Lennart Karlsson, the bibliographical critique in chapter two will analyse earlier texts that have discussed the sculptures which are the subject of this thesis. The third chapter organizes the sculptures into two main groups, and draws comparisons with international examples. It comprises a visual analysis of Swedish and international comparative material on a scale which has not been attempted before. The fourth chapter is a comprehensive catalogue of the 144 Madonnas dealt with in the text, sorted by region of origin.
Dufeu Valerie, Human ecodynamics in the North Atlantic : environmental and interdisciplinary reconstructions of the emergence of fish trade in Iceland and the Faeroes, c.800-1480, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. R. Oram, I. Simpson, Université de Stirling)
Over the past two decades, environmental history as an approach to the understanding and explanation of historical processes has become gradually fashionable amongst academics; empirical data collected over the North Atlantic proposed new trends with regards to economic patterns during the Viking Age. The increasing number of Viking Age sites exposed in Iceland, the amount of zooarchaeological collections highlighting an abundant presence of fish bones in the overall archaeofauna, together with one’s expertise in environmental history as well as a strong interest in socio-economic development during the Viking Age and medieval periods were many factors which help identify strengths and weaknesses with regards to the understanding of the emergence of commercial fish trade in Iceland, and to a lesser extent, the Faeroe Islands. The thesis proposes a new theory with regards to human adaptation to new environments, and subsequent economic developments based on the commercial exploitation of fish. The interdisciplinary aspect of this project using cultural sediment analysis and zooarchaeology, as well as concepts from anthropology and economic anthropology, allows for the theory to be tested by empirical data.
Croix Sarah, Work and Space in Rural Settlements in Viking-age Scandinavia – Gender Perspectives, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. E. Roesdahl, Université d’Aarhus)
This dissertation addresses the question of the relationship between gendered activities and spatial organization in the Viking Age on the basis of the archaeological material from rural settlements in Denmark, Norway and Iceland. The farmstead was the primary social and economic unit in Viking-Age Scandinavia. Dwelling and working activities were shared by its inhabitants, on the basis of their gender, age and social status. The organization of labor was the key-factor shaping daily life and relations between household members.
Continuer la lecture de Croix Sarah, Work and Space in Rural Settlements in Viking-age Scandinavia
Carlsen Christian, Old Norse visions of the afterlife, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. H. O’Donoghue, Université d’Oxford)
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.
Blakelock Eleanor Susan, The early medieval cutting edge of technology : an archaeometallurgical, technological and social study of the manufacture and use of Anglo-Saxon and Viking iron knives, and their contribution to the early medieval iron economy, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. G. McDonnell, T. F. Taylor, C. M. Batt, Université de Bradford)
A review of archaeometallurgical studies carried out in the 1980s and 1990s of early medieval (c. AD410-1100) iron knives revealed several patterns, with clear differences in knife manufacturing techniques present in rural cemeteries and later urban settlements. The main aim of this research is to investigate these patterns and to gain an overall understanding of the early medieval iron industry. This study has increased the number of knives analysed from a wide spectrum of sites across England, Scotland and Ireland. Knives were selected for analysis based on X-radiographs and contextual details. Sections were removed for more detailed archaeometallurgical analysis. The analysis revealed a clear change through time, with a standardisation in manufacturing techniques in the 7th century and differences between the quality of urban and rural knives. Analysis of cemetery knives revealed that there was some correlation between the knife and the deceased. Comparison of knives from England, Dublin and Europe revealed that the Vikings had little direct impact on England’s knife manufacturing industry, although there was a change in manufacturing methods in the 10th century towards the mass produced sandwich welded knife. This study also suggests that Irish blacksmiths in Dublin continued their ‘native’ blacksmithing techniques after the Vikings arrived. Using the data gathered a chaîne opértoire of the iron knife was re-constructed, this revealed that there was a specific order to the manufacture process and decisions were not only influenced by the cost of raw materials, the skill of the blacksmith and the consumer status, but also by cultural stimulus.
Baranauskienė Rasa, Keltų ir skandinavų kalbų ir kultūriniai kontaktai vikingų laikotarpiu [Celtic and Scandinavian Language and Cultural Contacts during the Viking Age], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. J. K. Kusmenko, Université de Vilnius)
This dissertation deals with Viking Age Celtic and Scandinavian language and cultural contacts which resulted in profound changes in both societies. Viking Age rune-stones found in the Isle of Man contain some exceptional features and in many ways diverge from the rest of the Scandinavian runic corpus. Presence of the Ogam tradition in the Isle of Man might have been one of the factors why rune-stones were so well accepted and flourished in the isle during the Viking Age. One of the most unique features is the presence of bilingual runic-Ogam inscriptions which were carved at the same time as runic inscriptions and not earlier. Linguistic research of the Manx rune-inscriptions revealed the influence of Celtic upon Scandinavian language. First of all, rune-inscriptions contain a lot of Celtic personal names. Besides, there are many cases of inflectional confusion that is likely to arise in a bilingual society. The second part of the dissertation discusses Celtic elements in the only surviving ballad in Norn language Hildinavisen, which seems to have been created in continually changing linguistic, social and cultural conditions. The marine societies of Shetland and Orkney Islands generated various stories, where motifs and elements traveled from various directions. Hildinavisen is certainly of West Scandinavian origin, but it contains or rather is adorned with Celtic motifs. The analysis of the text of Hildinavisen seems to indicate that in the level of the story Hildinavisen…
Šioje disertacijoje tyrinėjami keltų ir skandinavų kalbų ir kultūriniai kontaktai Vikingų laikotarpiu, atnešę esminių permainų abiems kultūroms. Vikingų epochos Meno salos runų įrašai savo forma, turiniu bei kalbos ypatybėmis skiriasi nuo skandinaviškų runų korpuso. Šios salos runų įrašams įtakos turėjo Ogamo įrašų tradicija, dėl kurios runų tradicija suklestėjo Meno saloje Vikingų laikotarpiu. Vienas iš unikaliausių bruožų yra taip vadinamieji dvikalbiai runakmeniai, kur greta runų įrašo yra Ogamo įrašas, išraižytas ant akmens tuo pat metu kaip ir runos. Svarbus Meno salos runų įrašų skiriamasis bruožas – jų kalbiniai ypatumai. Viena vertus, runose gausu keltiškų vardų, antra vertus, galima pastebėti, jog senosios skandinavų kalbos gramatika gerokai pakitusi. Ištyrus runų įrašus matyti, kaip skandinavų kalbos gramatika keičiasi dvikalbėje visuomenėje. Antroje disertacijos dalyje aptariami keltiški elementai vienintelėje išlikusioje norn kalba užrašytoje „Baladėje apie Hildiną“, kuri buvo sukurta nuolat besikeičiančioje kalbinėje, socialinėje ir kultūrinėje aplinkoje. Jūrinės Šetlando ir Orknio salų visuomenės generavo įvairius pasakojimus, kurių motyvai ir elementai atkeliaudavo iš įvairių kraštų. „Baladė apie Hildiną“ yra neabejotinai vakarų skandinavų kilmės, tačiau joje aptinkama keltiškų motyvų. Baladės teksto analizė rodo, jog pasakojimo lygmenyje ji yra nemažai pasiskolinusi iš keltų pasakojamosios tradicijos. Ypač ryški „karaliaus ir deivės tema“. Tačiau jei ir būta…
Osipov Dmitry O., Кожевенно-сапожное ремесло Великого Новгорода X-XVII вв. [Leather and shoemaking in Veliky Novgorod (10th-17th centuries)], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (Université d’État des sciences humaines de Russie)
Предметом исследования данной диссертации является информационный потенциал совокупных материалов по кожевенно-сапожному ремеслу Великого Новгорода X-XVII вв. Обширная коллекция интересующих нас археологических находок включает разнообразные обувные детали и их фрагменты, ремесленный инструментарий, места скоплений производственных отходов и их характер, а также сведения разнообразных письменных источников, упоминающих ремесленников, занимавшихся выделкой кож и изготовлением изделий из кожи.
Анализ этого материала позволяет воссоздать историю и характер возникновения и поступательного развития новгородского кожевенно-сапожного ремесла на протяжении всего исследуемого периода.
Основным источником исследования послужили археологические коллекции семнадцати новгородских раскопов расположенных в различных частях (концах) города. На основе полевых описей этих раскопов автором составлена электронная база данных, включающая 18 696 находок, распечатанных в виде каталога (Приложение № 3). Для анализа, сравнения и поиска аналогий привлекались материалы археологических коллекций из раскопок Рюрикова городища, Старой Ладоги, других древнерусских городов, а также поселений Польского Поморья и Скандинавии.
[Source : http://www.dslib.net/arxeologia/kozhevenno-sapozhnoe-remeslo-velikogo-novgoroda-x-xvii-vv.html]
Schorn Brittany Erin, « How can his word be trusted? » : speaker and authority in Old Norse wisdom poetry, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. J. Quinn, Université de Cambridge)
In the eddic poem Hávamál, the god Óðinn gives advice, including a warning about the fickleness of human, and divine, nature. He cites his own flagrant deception of giants who trusted him in order to win the mead of poetry as evidence for this deep-seated capacity for deceit, asking of himself: ‘how can his word be trusted?’ This is an intriguing question to ask in a poem purporting to relate the wisdom of Óðinn, and it is a concern repeatedly voiced in regard to him and other speakers in the elaborate narrative frames of the Old Norse wisdom poems.
Gardeła Leszek, Entangled worlds : archaeologies of ambivalence in the Viking Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. N. Price, P. Jordan, Université d’Aberdeen)
When all available sources on the Viking world are combined, there is a strong sense that the Scandinavians of the late Iron Age (8th-11th centuries AD) recognised no clear distinctions between the profane and the sacred. The latter could manifest itself in different ways, in places, beings or objects, and it often aroused ambivalent feelings of both fear and awe. This thesis explores these entanglements and the notion of ambivalence in relation to a particular group of Viking-Age individuals involved in the practice of magic (e.g. seiðr). Chapters 1-3 form the background for the considerations on ritual specialists’ lives, tools of trade and ways of burial. After a detailed review of Viking-Age funerary practices, focus shifts towards the corpus of so-called ‘deviant burials’, which in recent years have often been interpreted as belonging to ritual specialists. Chapter 4 compares the written and archaeological evidence for the funerary treatment of ritual specialists. Particular attention is devoted to graves where the deceased are covered with stones, since in the written sources execution by stoning is often employed as a punishment for malevolent magic. Nonetheless, caution is suggested in labeling all of them as belonging to ritual specialists and the necessity of a more individual, contextual approach is proposed. Chapter 5 examines a specific group of Viking-Age artefacts that usually take the form of iron rods, which have recently been interpreted as magic staffs. These items are discussed in the light of Old Norse texts and comparative materials from other areas of the world. Ultimately, the thesis embraces the notion of ambiguity in Viking attitudes to the supernatural, viewing this not as an obstructive problem but as an active component of interpretation. This combines an appropriate caution in approaching a difficult aspect of past societies, with a sensible refusal to introduce more rigid definitions than those used by the Vikings themselves.
Watt Angela, The implications of cultural interchange in Scalloway, Shetland, with reference to a perceived Nordic heritage, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. D. Heddle, Université d’Aberdeen)
Shetland’s geographical location has long been considered remote or isolated from a centralised Scottish perspective. However, as an island group situated between the neighbouring landmasses of Scotland and Norway, Shetland is directly situated on the maritime highway of the North Atlantic Rim. The mobilising quality of the maritime highway created a path of entry into the islands, allowing the development of locational narratives, but has also resulted in the loss of some of these narratives. This investigation addresses the dynamics of cultural interchange by formulating a theoretical model of the exchange of ‘cultural products’; with particular regard for practices of recording and displaying visual narratives. The ancient capital of Shetland, Scalloway, provides the background for a microcosmic account of Shetland’s wider history and cultural composition and forms the main focus of the thesis. Within this setting the process of cultural interchange can be seen to have been formative in the development of island identity; particularly in traditional practices, occupational forms, dialect, place-names and cultural expressions. The historical account of Scalloway provides material culture evidence for human occupation reaching back to the Bronze Age. Successive ‘layers’ in the archaeological record and officially recorded histories indicate distinct periods pertinent in the development of a local identity; Iron Age, Norse Era, Stewart Earldom and World War Two. Collectively, these periods represent a consecutive process of ‘imprinting’ characteristics upon the local population; including geographical positioning, dialect, political control and shared narrative histories with Norway during the Second World War. However, it can be seen that there is an over-determination of the Norse element of island identity, which finds a greater degree of replication in visual accounts. It is argued in this investigation that this over-determination is a deliberate cultural construct of island identity that is maintained in opposition to Scottish control.
Viberg Andreas, Remnant echoes of the past Archaeological geophysical prospection in Sweden, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. K. Lidén, B. Olofsson, R. Dalan, B. Bevan, Université de Stockholm)
The aim of this thesis has been to investigate the benefits, pitfalls and possibilities of using geophysical methods in archaeological projects. This is exemplified by surveys carried out at archaeological sites in different geographical and chronological contexts. The thesis also aims at investigating the cause for the under-use of the methods in Swedish archaeology by looking at previously conducted surveys. The methods used during these surveys have been Ground-penetrating radar (GPR), magnetometer, slingram and a kappameter. The surveys in the mountain tundra region of Lapland show that magnetic susceptibility surveys is a valuable aid in discovering heaps of fire-cracked stones and when combined with magnetometry, also hearths. GPR and magnetometer surveys within the Migration Period ringfort Sandbyborg provided the spatial layout of the fort and indicated, along with results from recent excavations and metal detections, many similarities with the ringfort Eketorp II. The non-magnetic character of the sedimentary bedrock on Öland and Gotland is suitable for magnetometer surveys and the method is also highly appropriate for the detection of the remains of high-temperature crafts. GPR surveys at St. Mary’s Dominican convent in Sigtuna produced the spatial layout of the central cloister area. The investigations also show that the geology, pedology, land use and the character of commonly occurring prehistoric remains in Sweden, in certain circumstances and in certain areas, have restricted the possibility of successfully carrying out geophysical surveys. Care must therefore be taken to choose the right instrument for the survey and to tailor the sampling density of each geophysical survey, according to the character and size of the expected archaeological remains, in order to maximize their information return. To increase the use of geophysical methods in Sweden the educational opportunities, both for surveyors and professional archaeologists, need to improve.