Archives de catégorie : Fait religieux / Religion

Gerrard Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200

Gerrard, Daniel, The military activities of bishops, abbots and other clergy in England c.900-1200, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. M. Strickland, University of Glasgow)

This thesis examines the evidence for the involvement in warfare of clerks and religious in England between the beginning of the tenth century and the end of the twelfth. It focuses on bishops and abbots, whose military activities were recorded more frequently than lesser clergy, though these too are considered where appropriate. From the era of Christian conversion until long after the close of the middle ages, clergy were involved in the prosecution of warfare. In this period, they built fortresses and organised communities of warriors in time of peace and war. Some were slain in battle, while others were given promotion or lands for their martial exploits. A series of canonical pronouncements aimed to forbid or restrict the involvement of Christian clergy in organised bloodshed, and some writers branded militant clergy as corrupted by the lure of earthly power or even as having surrendered their sacerdotal status. This study therefore approaches the military practices of clergy alongside the legal and narrative treatments, and treats the latter as reactions to, not the background of, the former. This requires consideration of a wide range of narrative, diplomatic and legal source material. A broad approach shows that clerics’ military activities cannot be separated from their spiritual powers, that canonical treatment was more fragmented and less influential than has been assumed, and that the condemnations of some authors existed alongside others’ praise for clerics’ valour, loyalty, or commitment to defending their flocks. In consequence, the extended study of clerical participation in warfare is shown to have significant consequences for our conception of the bounds of military history, the construction of the licit and the illicit, and the nature of clerical identity itself.

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Creamer Joseph P., In the footsteps of Becket: episcopal sanctity in England, 1170-1270

Creamer, Joseph P., In the footsteps of Becket: episcopal sanctity in England, 1170-1270, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. R. Stacey, University of Washington)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation explains why holy bishops were so common in England while they were rare on the continent in the century after the murder of Thomas Becket by the king’s men in 1170. The Introduction shows how Becket’s sanctity was based on resistance to the king, but also drew on other models of episcopal holiness. Chapter 1 traces the development of the « Becket model » in the revival of episcopal sanctity shortly after Becket’s martyrdom and demonstrates how episcopal sanctity was contested by both English kings and royal opponents during the papal interdict of England. This chapter focuses on the biographies and miracles of bishops Wulfstan (canonized 1203), Hugh of Lincoln, (canonized 1220), William of York (canonized 1226), and Osmund of Salisbury (postulated 1228). Chapter 2 traces Archbishop Stephen Langton’s attempt to reform the English church and his role in the origins of Magna Carta. Chapter 3 on Edmund of Canterbury (canonized 1246) shows how his sanctity was shaped to make him an opponent of the king following in the footsteps of Becket, when Edmund actually had a good, if sometimes strained, relationship with the King. Chapter 4 on Robert Grosseteste (postulated 1256) returns to the development of saintly resistance to royal power, exploring how and why Grosseteste defended the Magna Carta by investing it with religious significance, while he and his fellow bishops were co-opted by the baronial rebellion to bless its violent opposition to the King. Chapter 5 broadens outward from the theme of episcopal opposition to authority in order to discuss how the sanctity of Richard Wich (canonized 1262) was shaped by the development of new forms of religious life in the thirteenth century. These developments helped create a new sanctity for the bishops, based not on royal resistance, but on the concerns of the Fourth Lateran Council-the prelate as pastor and preacher.

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Gusakova Olga V., The cult of Anglo-Saxon saints during the Scandinavian conquest of England (9th-11th centuries)

Gusakova Olga V., Культ англо-саксонских святых в условиях скандинавских завоеваний Англии IX–XI вв. [The cult of  Anglo-Saxon saints during the Scandinavian conquest of England (9th-11th centuries)], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2012, (Université d’État des sciences humaines de Russie)

Résumé/abstract :

Диссертационное исследование посвящено проблеме функционирования культов англо-саксонской святых в Англии в условиях викингских нашествий (IX – первая половина XI в.). Актуальность поставленной проблемы определяется как ее недостаточной изученностью (см. ниже), так и тем значением, которое исследование культов святых – активно развивающееся направление в современной медиевистике – имеет для понимания средневековой ментальности и культуры, а нередко – и политической истории. Святость составляет одно из ключевых понятий христианского мировоззрения, являвшегося основой западноевропейской цивилизации Средневековья. В то же время конкретные проявления почитания святых складывались и развивались исторически и могли принимать разнообразные формы в тех или иных условиях. Исследования последних десятилетий позволили взглянуть на культ святых как на социокультурный феномен, отражающий идеалы и представления различных социальных групп и играющий важную роль в формировании и сохранении идентичности религиозных общин, поддержании престижа и распространении власти королевских династий. Культы святых в определенной мере отражают коллективные представления о прошлом и одновременно участвуют в их конструировании. Таким образом, изучение культов святых чрезвычайно важно для более глубокого понимания процессов, происходивших в развитии Церкви и общества.

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)

Fried Alexandra, The Swedish Madonnas

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)

Résumé/abstract :
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.

Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective

Sheldon Gwendolyn, The Conversion of the Vikings in Ireland from a Comparative Perspective, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)

Résumé/abstract :

The history of the Viking invasions in England and what is now France in the ninth and tenth centuries is fairly well documented by medieval chroniclers. The process by which these people adopted Christianity, however, is not. The written and archaeological evidence that we can cobble together indicates that the Scandinavians who settled in England and Normandy converted very quickly. Their conversion was clearly closely associated with settlement on the land. Though Scandinavians in both countries expressed no interest in Christianity as long as they engaged in a Viking lifestyle, characterized by rootless plundering, they almost always accepted Christianity within one or two generations of becoming peasants, even when they lived in heavily Scandinavian, Norse-speaking communities. While the early history of the Vikings in Ireland was similar to that of the Vikings elsewhere, it soon took a different course. While English and French leaders were able to set aside land on which they encouraged the Scandinavians to settle, none of the many petty Irish kings had the wealth or power to do this. The Vikings in Ireland were therefore forced to maintain a lifestyle based on plunder and trade. Over time, they became concentrated into a few port towns from which they travelled inland to conduct raids and then exported what they had stolen from other parts of the Scandinavian diaspora. Having congregated at a few small sites, most prominently Dublin, they remained distinct from the rest of Ireland for centuries. The evidence suggests that they took about four generations to convert. Their conversion differed from that of Scandinavians elsewhere not only in that it was so delayed, but also in that, unlike in England and Normandy, it was not associated with the re-establishment of an ecclesiastical hierarchy. Rather, when the Scandinavians in Ireland did convert, they did so because they were evangelized by monastic communities, in particular the familia of Colum Cille, who had not fled from foundations close to the Viking ports. These communities were probably driven by political concerns to take an interest in the rising Scandinavian towns.

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.

Arboe Sonne Lasse, Vikingetidens Thor-Kult : Historiske Studier i Vikingetidens Religion

Arboe Sonne Lasse, Vikingetidens Thor-Kult : Historiske Studier i Vikingetidens Religion, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (Université de Copenhague)

Résumé/abstract :

Thor-kult i vikingetiden præsenterer den første, samlede kritiske gennemgang af kildematerialet til dyrkelsen af Thor i vikingetiden siden Henry Petersens disputats Om Nordboernes Gudedyrkelse og Gudetro i Hedenold fra 1876. Monografien gennemgår de samtidige skriftlige, arkæologiske og ikonografiske kilder, der omtaler eller kan knyttes til dyrkelsen af Thor. Kilderne omfatter myter om Thor, stednavne, hvor navnet Thor indgår, samt den norrøne middelalderlitteratur fra 1200- og 1300-tallet.

Lasse Sonne klarlægger de regionale forskelle i dyrkelsen af Thor og påviser, at entydige vidnesbyrd for dyrkelsen af Thor i Norden ikke foreligger før 900-tallet. På trods af den sene datering kan Thor-dyrkelsen imidlertid ikke sættes i relation til en reaktion imod den missionerende Kristendom. Det er et væsentligt resultat i monografien, at identifikationen af de arkæologiske miniaturehamre med Thors hammer, Mjølner, ikke længere kan opretholdes.Forfatterens konklusioner tydeliggør, at vikingetidens førkristne religion ikke var en fast, uforanderlig størrelse, men en religion, der ændrede sig løbende over tid og sted i de trehundrede år, som vikingetiden varede. Samtidig viser han, at ældre tolkninger af kildematerialet til vikingetidens religion, der gentages i håndbøgerne til perioden, ofte bygger på antagelser og præmisser, der ikke længere er holdbare. Bogen er således relevant for historiske, arkæologiske og religionshistoriske studier af vikingetidens religion.

Males Mikael, Mytologi i skaldedikt, skaldedikt i prosa

Males Mikael, Mytologi i skaldedikt, skaldedikt i prosa. En synkron analys av mytologiska referenser i medeltida norröna handskrifter, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. K. G. Johansson, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

I den populära föreställningen härskar Tor och Oden i Asgård, föremål för nordbornas dyrkan före kristendomens ankomst. Kanske har det en gång varit så, men det vet vi inte mycket om. Denna bild av hedendomen konstruerades under medeltiden och fortsätter att prägla vår förståelse av den norröna mytologin. I sin avhandling ger Mikael Males ett annat perspektiv.

Males studerar hur mytologin användes i den norröna skaldediktningen vid tiden för dess nedskrivande, på 1200- och 1300-talet. Till skillnad från de flesta ser han ingen motsättning mellan mytologin och kristendomen. Det fanns flera skäl för de kristna skrivarna att använda sig av mytologin, som på så sätt fortlevde och inlemmades i den kristna litteraturen. Hedendomen kunde anpassas för att likna kristendomen, för att visa Guds hand i världshistorien. Den kunde skildras som satanisk, men också neutralt och rentav positivt, till och med i mötet med kristendomen. Bruket av mytologi kunde också vara en fråga om stil. I skaldedikt hörde mytologiska inslag till den höga stilen, och de är därför vanliga även i lovdikter till Kristus och helgon.

Vi har inga nordiska texter från förkristen tid som handlar om de norröna gudarna. Först när den lärda skriftkulturen etablerades skrevs dikter och berättelser om dem ned. Modellen var Gamla Testamentet, förhistorien till det Nya Testamentets sanning. Föreställningen om en motsättning mellan norrön mytologi och kristendom är modern; medeltidens kristendom absorberade och anpassade främmande element efter sina behov.

Løkka Nanna, Steder og landskap i norrøn mytologi

Løkka Nanna, Steder og landskap i norrøn mytologi – En analyse av topografi og kosmologi i gudediktene av den eldre Edda, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. G. Steinsland, Université d’Oslo)

Résumé/abstract :

I avhandlingen Steder og landskap i norrøn mytologi ‒ en analyse av topografi og kosmologi i gudediktene av Den eldre Edda har Nanna Løkka undersøkt steder og landskap i den norrøne mytologien. Gjennom en systematisk undersøkelse av de mytologiske stedene har Løkka vist at disse utgjør meningsbærende størrelser som kan brukes i forståelsen av den førkristne mytologien. Blant annet viser studien at det er tingplassen som er det viktigste stedet i Åsgård, men gudeheimen kjennetegnes også av andre steder av samfunnsmessig, institusjonell karakter. Jotunheimene derimot mangler slike sosiale steder. Dermed synes skillet mellom det kollektive og det individuelle å være en av de viktigste forskjellene mellom de to heimene.

Undersøkelsen gir ny innsikt i det norrøne verdensbildet, for studien viser at dette hadde en monistisk karakter, i motsetning til en dualistisk. Det betyr at mytologiens omfattende beskjeftigelse med guder og jotner springer ut av en kosmologi, en verdenslære, der begge disse slektene var av avgjørende betydning. Jotnene bør ikke reduseres til onde eller dumme motstandere for gudene ‒ også jotnene har klare funksjoner i opprettholdelsen av verden. Åsgård og jotunheimene eksisterer i kraft av hverandre.

I forskningen på norrøn mytologi er eddadiktenes opphav et viktig spørsmål. Løkkas undersøkelse viser også at diktene er formet over kosmologiske prinsipper som ikke hører hjemme i en kristen mentalitet, dermed styrkes hypotesen om at eddadiktene er formet over et førkristent tradisjonsmateriale.

Cöllen Sebastian, Der rätselhafte Gott

Cöllen Sebastian, Der rätselhafte Gott : Heimdallr im Licht altnordischer Vorstellungen von Ahnen und Ordnung, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (dir. E. Hellman, T. Blomkvist, Université d’Uppsala)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation aims at a deeper understanding of the character of the Old West Norse god Heimdallr and of his function in the mythological traditions. The need for a new study of this god is indicated by the fact that the more than a century old description of him in the secondary literature as “the enigmatic god” is still standing. In contrast to much of the earlier research, the previous study attempts to examine the god primarily through the society in which the traditions pertaining to him were handed down. The category guiding the comparisons of the study is Heimdallr’s relatively early documented quality as an ancestor. The study shows that Heimdallr in pre-Christian time probably represented a more clearly definable and eminent figure than is often believed. In the traditions pertaining to him are, among other things, ideas on descent and order reflected.

Doolan J. C., « Geys morg heiti hafi pér gefit honum »

Doolan J. C., « Geys morg heiti hafi pér gefit honum » : the mutability of Óðinn as a literary device in Old Norse texts of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2011, (Université de Cambridge)

Résumé/abstract :
This dissertation presents the thesis that the literary figure of Óðinn was an extremely useful artistic device for medieval Icelandic authors seeking to engage with their pagan heritage and to reconcile an interest in this cultural past with their own beliefs and experiences. An accurate definition of what constitutes the Odinic figure and its various uses is therefore highly valuable to a fuller understanding of the complex and dynamic relationship in Old Norse literature produced in the Christian present but reflecting on the pagan past. Part One examines source evidence for Óðinn, taking the numerous names for Óðinn as a method by which to categorise and understand him as a figure. These names are found overwhelmingly in Old Norse poetry and poetic treatises, providing information on the mythological attributes and guises of Óðinn. These sources (the poems of the Poetic Edda, Snorra Edda, including the additional pulur appended to Skáldskaparmál, and skaldic poems) comprise the most complete and earliest evidence of Old Norse mythology for modern scholars. Part One collates and analyses the names of Óðinn found in these sources to reach a definition of the ‘Odinic’ and its constituent parts which include: disguise; deception; moral and sexual ambiguity; and status as the father of gods and men, as patron of poetry and the giver of victory in battle. Part Two utilises the definitions as the basis of a comparative study into the manifestations of the Odinic figure found in Old Norse prose, in particular the narratives of Heimskringla and Flateyjarbók which each combine Old Norse myth, legend, and history in order to construct a chronological account of the Scandinavian peoples, encompassing and adapting the contradictory origin myths of the pagan and biblical traditions. Examination of the ways manuscript compilers use Óðinn for this purpose casts light on their world view and on Óðinn as means by which Icelandic Christian writers could explore and reconcile these seemingly disjunctive traditions in their literature.

Converting the Isles

Converting the Isles

Responsables du projet/Project leaders : Roy Flechner (, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh (

Établissement principal/Main institution : University Cambridge

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

Conversion to Christianity is arguably the most revolutionary social and cultural change that Europe experienced in late-antiquity and the early middle ages. Christianisation affected all strata of society and transformed not only religious beliefs and practices, but also the nature of government, the priorities of the economy, the character of kinship, and gender relations. It is against this backdrop that the network Converting the Isles was founded, in order to investigate social, economic, and cultural aspects of conversion in the early-medieval Insular world, covering different parts of Britain, Ireland, Scandinavia and Iceland. Histories of conversion in the Insular world are bound up in an intricate web of connections that are well attested in contemporary documentary sources. For instance, we know of Irish missionaries operating in Britain and vice versa, there are cases in which religious centres enjoyed patronage from overseas kings, we occasionally see international political alliances being sealed by baptism, and from the late ninth century we encounter seafaring Vikings, whose ancestors were inimical to the church, beginning to serve as catalysts that contributed to the spread of the Christian religion. The combination of places that the network will focus on reflects our wish to establish a wide comparative framework that will highlight these cross-cultural connections, and cover areas that are of significance to the study of conversion in both the pre-Viking and the Viking era.The last two decades have seen a steady stream of studies devoted to the conversion history of Ireland, Britain and other parts of the Insular world. At the same time, the archaeological map of the region has been significantly augmented thanks to a surge in new finds, some of which—consisting especially of ecclesiastical sites and burials—shed valuable new light on the material culture of newly-converted communities, or communities in a state of religious and cultural transition. This fresh new data is important not only for what it can tell us about individual sites, but also for its cumulative value. Yet most research projects that set out to tap this data have either adhered closely to national and disciplinary boundaries, or else did not approach their subject matter comparatively and collaboratively. Converting the Isles will be different in that its main goal is to foster genuine interdisciplinary dialogue between historians, archaeologists and literary scholars. The interdisciplinary character of the network is meant not only to alert scholars to recent advancements that have been made in other fields, but also to search for ways in which highly specialised disciplines can be made to ‘talk’ to each other. This concern with interdisciplinarity from a methodological perspective, will be of relevance not just to medievalists, but to any historian engaged in interdisciplinary collaboration, and to novice students who are interested in gaining insights into the historian’s craft.

Old Norse Mythology Network and Conferences

Old Norse Mythology Network and Conferences

Responsables du projet/Project leaders : Pernille Hermann ( and Jens Peter Schjødt (

Établissements principaux/Main institutions : University of Aarhus, University of Aberdeen

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

A network, based in Aarhus, has been in existence for some years, with several conferences. The network is very interdisciplinary, covering Old Norse language and literature, toponymy, runology, history of religions, ethnology, history, archaeology etc. The aim is to assemble the leading researchers in the field for conferences and to pursue a continuous discussion in the field of Old Norse mythology.

From next year these conferences will be held every other year in Aarhus and Aberdeen respectively, as cooperation between Nordisk Inst. and Inst. for religionshistorie at the University of Aarhus and Centre for Scandinavian Studies at the University of Aberdeen.

Settlements and Economies Around the Sea (SEAS). Maritime settlement, subsistence and economic histories around the Baltic Sea 500 BC – 1700AD. University of Helsinki, Finland

This project operates mainly inside three disciplines: archaeology, history, biology and linguistics (place names), but through cooperation it also incorporates elements of geology, climatology, and geophysics. A multidisciplinary approach, where different disciplines work in close cooperation, is used to reach the project’s objectives. The main objectives of the SEAS project are:

  1. To carry out a multidisciplinary study, analysis, interpretation, and publication of the development of settlement patterns, subsistence strategies, and economies in the maritime landscape during 500-1700 AD in the maritime landscape of Uusimaa and Finland Proper.
  2. To interpret the results from the perspective of the Baltic Sea region through close cooperation with parallel projects and institutions around the Baltic and North Sea.
  3. To jointly analyze and publish differences, generalizations and similarities within the broader area as a result of this cooperation.
  4. To promote maritime research and publish a general history of the areas around the Baltic and North Seas through a network of projects, institutes, and researchers.

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Åkestam Mia, Bebådelsebilder : Om bildbruk under medeltiden

Åkestam Mia, Bebådelsebilder : Om bildbruk under medeltiden, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. M. Rossholm Lagerlöf, M. Kempff Östlind, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé :

This thesis investigates the Annunciation motif and the use of images in a medieval socio-cultural context. There are almost 400 medieval images of the Annunciation from the period 1150–1550 in Sweden today. It is found in murals, baptismal fonts, paintings, wooden sculpture, stone reliefs, liturgical vessels, textile works and altarpieces. The aim of the thesis is to present this rich and varied material, and also to relate the images to the milieus where they were used and viewed as objects of cult, and to elucidate the historical situation in which they were used for communicative purposes.  It is argued that an “image-culture” perspective and a long-term investigation can reveal other aspects than a specific study, and that it is fruitful to equally emphasize the rhetoric of the image, the beholders part and the historical context. Hence the picture analysis is based on semiotics and rhetoric analysis of pictures and reception theory. With this point of departure the thesis addresses iconographic problems and shows that text as a source and explanation of historical image can be insufficient. The study shows that the figures’ gestures and body language, their contenace, is crucial for our understanding, and remains the most important mark of identification. The motif can be identified even with an angel without wings. The meaning of this universal picture could then be enlarged with specific attributes and symbols with a purpose to emphasize specific ideas. In context this elucidates bishopric, monastic as well as worldly use of imagery. The image context includes motifs from classical antiquity, references to the pious Christian worshiper, as well as symbolic staging of the Gospels and Christian faith. More expected is the biblical history. The motif can also be displayed alone, and thus it can be regarded as a sign. An important outcome is that the Annunciation not is used in legendary suites or in narratives of the Virgin Mary. Hence, the relationship between image and text is not uncomplicated. The thesis shows that people in the Middle Ages were fully aware of the use of pictures and skilfully used the rhetoric of the image.

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