Archives de catégorie : Cultures en contact et transferts culturels / Cultures in contact and cultural transfers

Watt Angela, The implications of cultural interchange in Scalloway, Shetland, with reference to a perceived Nordic heritage

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)

Résumé/abstract :
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.

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)

Lodén Sofia, Le chevalier courtois à la rencontre de la Suède médiévale

Lodén Sofia, Le chevalier courtois à la rencontre de la Suède médiévale, Du Chevalier au lion à Herr Ivan, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (dir. A. Bengtsson, M. Gally, P. Förnegård, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
This dissertation investigates the links between Chrétien de Troyes’ romance Le Chevalier au lion from the late twelfth century and the Old Swedish text Herr Ivan, written at the behest of Queen Eufemia of Norway at the beginning of the fourteenth century. The study has two parts. The first sets out to determine the sources of the Swedish text: Was Le Chevalier au lion really the source text of Herr Ivan? The second part raises the question of what happened to the courtly ideals that characterize the French romance when they were transferred into Swedish.The analysis of the question concerning the sources of Herr Ivan confirms that Le Chevalier au lion was the translator’s main source, while the Old Norse version Ívens saga, from the middle of the thirteenth century, was used as a secondary source. The relationship between Le Chevalier au lion, Ívens saga and Herr Ivan is examined through a comparison of the three texts: the choice of verse or prose, the role of prologues and epilogues, and the use of the voice of a narrator and of direct and indirect discourse. Four specific passages are compared at a micro-level.By comparing Herr Ivan to its sources, it becomes clear that the Swedish translator wanted to stress certain courtly ideals by presenting a distinct and coherent interpretation of what Chrétien de Troyes refers to as courtoisie. This indicates that the function of the text was to present a set of ideological and aesthetic values. The analysis of the transmission of courtly ideals takes its point of departure in the uses of the French word courtois and the Swedish equivalent hövisker. As a next step, three elements intimately linked to courtliness are examined: aventure, gaieté and honneur. Also the different roles played by the lion are highlighted. Finally, it is shown how the courtly ideals of Herr Ivan can be read in the light of the other Old Swedish texts written at the behest of Queen Eufemia: Hertig Fredrik av Normandie and Flores och Blanzeflor.

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).


Eriksen Stefka Gueorguieva, Writing and reading in medieval manuscript culture

Eriksen Stefka Gueorguieva, Writing and reading in medieval manuscript culture. The transmission of the story of Elye in Old French and Old Norse literary contexts, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. J. G. Jørgensen, Université d’Oslo)

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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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Goeres Erin Michelle, The King is dead, long live the King

Goeres Erin Michelle, The King is dead, long live the King : commemoration in skaldic verse of the Viking Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. H. O’Donoghue, Université d’Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :

This thesis examines the function of commemorative skaldic verse at the Viking-age court. The first chapter demonstrates that the commemoration of past kings could provide a prestigious genealogical record that was used to legitimize both pagan and early Christian rulers. In the ninth and early tenth centuries, poets crafted competing genealogies to assert the primacy of their patrons and of their patrons’ religions. The second chapter looks at the work of tenth-century poets who depict their rulers’ entrances into the afterlife. Such poets interrogate the role public speech and poetic discourse play in the commemoration of the king, especially during the political turmoil that follows his death. A discussion follows of the relationship between poets and their patrons in the tenth and eleventh centuries: although this relationship is often praised as one of mutual trust and reliance, the financial aspects of the relationship were often juxtaposed uneasily with expressions of emotional attachment. The death of the patron caused a crisis in these seemingly contradictory bonds between poet and patron. The final chapter demonstrates the dramatic development in the eleventh century of deeply emotional commemorative verse as poets become adopted into their patrons’ families through such Christian ceremonies as baptism and marriage. In these verses poets express their grief after the death of the king and record the performances of public mourning on the part of the kings’ followers. As the petty warlords of the Viking age adapted to medieval models of Christian kingship, the role of the skald changed too. Formerly serving as a propagandist and retainer in the king’s service, a skald documenting the lives of kings at the end of the Viking age could occupy an almost infinite number of roles, from kinsman and friend to advisor and hagiographer.

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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.