Archives de catégorie : Sujets/thèmes / Subjects/themes

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.

Gustafsson Ny Björn, Casting Identities in Central Seclusion

Gustafsson Ny Björn, Casting Identities in Central Seclusion, Aspects of non-ferrous metalworking and society on Gotland in the Early Medieval Period, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
The aim of this thesis has been to investigate and interpret late Iron Age and Early Medieval traces of non-ferrous metalworking on the island Gotland, Sweden. Gotland was not, based on the archaeological record, an integrated part of the common Scandinavian culture. Instead a local, endemic cultural expression had developed; a seclusion which lasted for centuries despite the islands central position in the Baltic Sea. In the past, key elements for the understanding of local settlement- and burial practices as well as the local material culture were mainly recovered and reported by local farmers. A specific category of such finds – so-called ‘bronze slag’ is discussed and partly reinterpreted in the first study of this thesis. Two further studies treat different aspects of metalworking and metalworkers – one discusses common archaeological notions of Scandinavian workshops, production sites and metalworkers from a critical perspective while the other mainly focuses on the Gotlandic finds from metal-detector surveys carried out over the last 35 years. Based on where and to which extent, both from a quantitative and a qualitative point of view, these finds occur a hierarchical classification into four sub groups is presented – ordinary farm sites with traces of non-ferrous metalworking, workshop sites, potential workshop sites and last, extrovert harbour settlements. A fourth study presents an attempt to evaluate the usefulness of magnetometry in delimiting extant traces of high-temperature crafts, such as metalworking. The last study of the thesis presents an attempt to use trace elements analysis of skeletal lead in human bone to identify potential non-ferrous metalworkers. As the wearing of endemic Gotlandic jewellery appears to have been central in the manifestation of the local identity it is argued that the metalworking artisans played a crucial role in defining how this identity was signalled and displayed via the jewellery and dress-related metal objects. It is further suggested that these artisans might have played an important role in upholding the local economy before the advent of local minting.

Pettersson Jensen Ing-marie, Norberg och Järnet : Bergsmännen och den medeltida industrialiseringen

Pettersson Jensen Ing-marie, Norberg och Järnet : Bergsmännen och den medeltida industrialiseringen, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2013, (dir. G. Magnusson, A. Carlsson, Université de Stockholm)

Résumé/abstract :
This thesis is an archeological study of continuity and change in mining and settlement 1000 – 1500. At the time for the earliest possible introduction of mining, in the mid-10th century, the primary area for Norbergs’ mining district was sparsely settled, but in the late Viking Age and/or early Middle Ages, the analyses demonstrate a significant agricultural expansion.Based on the dating of the medieval blast furnaces, the 13th century seems to have been the main expansion phase for mining in the area. In the early 14th century there may have been 121 blast furnaces around Norberg. During the later parts of the Middle Ages, starting in the second half of the 14th century, in total 30%, of the blast furnaces was closed.The Christian ideology broke down the former power of the local Viking Age magnates and dissolved their strong control over the route taken by the iron to the consumer. Their strong control over the craft and the craftsmen was also reduced. Together, this contributed to the quantitative development of iron production, and permitted craftsmen and iron producers to strengthen their social positions by developing their operations. These actors became stronger during the Middle Ages and had much to win from an increasingly powerful monarchy. The development of the towns and trading created entirely new routes and institutions for the iron to be shipped down from the mining area. This created the right conditions for the peasant miners to free themselves entirely from the old structures that controlled the mining area and trade.After the Black Death it was increasingly important to be more self-sufficient and to reside on site, which is why the so-called peasant miner organization reinforced its position and became dominant. But at the same time, the first large scale industrialization of the mining area stopped.

Jørgensen Roger, Production or trade? The supply of iron to North Norway during the Iron Age

Jørgensen Roger, Production or trade? The supply of iron to North Norway during the Iron Age, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Tromsø)

Résumé/absract :

Det er til nå funnet tre anlegg for produksjon av jern i Nord-Norge som er datert mellom 500 f.Kr. og 1200 e. Kr. Undersøkelser av anleggene på Flakstadvåg i Torsken k., på Hemmestad Nedre i Kvæfjord k. og på Rognlivatnet ved Misvær i Bodø k. dokumenterer at det har vært produsert jern i landsdelen helt fra jernalderens begynnelse. Anlegget på Hemmestad Nedre i Kvæfjorden er like gammelt som de eldste produksjonsanlegg som er funnet i Sør-Skandinavia og funnene viser at produksjonsteknologien var kjent i Nord-Norge omtrent på samme tidspunkt som de første jerngjenstandene ble tatt i bruk. Produksjon av jern fikk aldri noe større omfang i landsdelen noe som forklares ut fra samfunnets sosiale organisering. De nordnorske stormenn som gjennom jernalderen handlet med jernproduserende bosetninger i sør, hadde i Nord-Norge tilgang på varer som var ettertraktet både i Sør-Skandinavia og på kontinentet. Deres innflytelse og makt var til dels basert på handel med jern og de hadde ingen interesse i at det ble produsert jern lokalt. Dermed ble det ikke utviklet noen varige, teknologiske tradisjoner basert på lokal jernproduksjon før de statseide selskapene ble etablert tidlig på 1900-tallet.

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Nordic Medieval Laws (NML)

Nordic Medieval Laws (NML)

Responsable du projet/Project leader : Stefan Brink (

Établissement principal/Main institution : Centre for Scandinavian Studies, University of Aberdeen

Projet en cours/Project in progress

Description :

Aim of the project

The aim of the project is to analyse, edit, translate and comment upon all the Nordic provincial laws from the Middle Ages, for the first time. The output will be a series of 15 volumes with a translation of, and commentary upon, each law in English, and an online database consisting of facsimiles of the previously-published laws in Old Danish, Old Norwegian and Old Swedish.

Continuer la lecture de Nordic Medieval Laws (NML)

Découverte d’une forteresse circulaire de type « Trelleborg », près de Køge, au sud de Copenhague, en Østsjælland.

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Johanna Katrin Friðriksdóttir, Women, bodies, words and power

Johanna Katrin Friðriksdóttir, Women, bodies, words and power : Women in old Norse literature, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. C. Larrington, Université d’Oxford)

Résumé/abstract :

My doctoral thesis (2010) analysed women and power in Old Norse literature. In medieval Icelandic secular prose, female characters function as literary vehicles to engage with some of the most contested values of the period, revealing the preoccupations, desires and anxieties of its authors and audiences; chief amongst these concerns women’s access to and employment of power, and men’s vulnerability. Old Norse sources offer their audiences many discrete and varied female images: women of various social and economic positions and racial origins. Many of them conflict with the stereotypes prevalent in past scholarly discourse which, mainly because of its often selective approach to the extant evidence, has largely failed to perceive the richness and heterogeneity of female images and the multiplicity of their meanings. In this thesis an extensive and diverse gallery of female images from a wide range of secular prose texts will be analysed, demonstrating how varied and complex these female literary characters can be, how they develop over time, and how different genres which existed side by side, as well as individual texts within genres, offer different perspectives on the same problems. Many of the female characters in Old Norse literature can be seen as surprisingly powerful, and the ways in which they gain agency, whether by speech or actions, will be mapped out. These strategies may or may not be socially sanctioned. The thesis explores the roles available to women, how they negotiate these roles within the restraints of patriarchy and when they are seen to transgress normative boundaries, often being depicted as monstrous in these circumstances. The picture which emerges is not a simple dichotomy; it allows for ambiguity and subversion in itself by arguing for the monstrous ‘Other’ as a category which represents human qualities that are rejected and abjected but can never be made to disappear. In short, the thesis deals with questions of female power and uncovers how the texts represent women as agents.

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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).


Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle)

Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle), Thèse de doctorat soutenue  en 2011 (dir. Laurent Feller, Université de Paris I ; David Bates, University of East Anglia)

Résumé/abstract :

Cette thèse étudie les pratiques de gestion adoptées par les religieuses de La Trinité de Caen pour administrer leur vaste temporel anglo-normand durant les deux premiers siècles de l’histoire du monastère. Fondée vers 1059 par Guillaume le Conquérant et Mathilde de Flandres, l’Abbaye-aux-Dames a élaboré un cartulaire-censier (fin du XIIe siècle) et une série d’enquêtes (XIIe-XIIIe siècles) sans équivalent parmi les archives normandes, mais , qui s’insèrent Outre-Manche dans un corpus documentaire plus développé, bien connu et étudié. L’interrogation soulevée par la réalisation de ces documents dans cette abbaye normande constitue le point de départ de l’étude, qui explore la question des rapports entretenus entre compétences scripturaires et administratives, et qui tente de restituer les stratégies de gestion mises en place par les religieuses, et plus particulièrement leurs abbesses, durant les XIe-XIIIe siècles. Replacer cette documentation dans son contexte de production, celui d’une grande abbaye de femmes, dirigée par des abbesses puissantes et pleinement insérées dans l’univers des pratiques culturelles et administratives anglo-normandes, permet de mieux appréhender les enjeux de la réalisation des enquêtes et du cartulaire de l’Abbaye-aux-Dames. Comme tout grand seigneur ecclésiastique de cette époque, les abbesses de Caen témoignent d’une attention pointilleuse pour le respect de leurs prérogatives, mais aussi d’une conscience aiguë des réalités économiques, et d’une grande détermination dans leur démarche de préservation du temporel établi et organisé par la reine Mathilde, qui a souhaité être enterrée dans le chœur de l’église abbatiale.

Compte rendu par Isabelle Theiller sur le forum de Tabularia (08/12/2011)

Continuer la lecture de Rety-Letouzey Catherine, Écrits et gestion du temporel dans une grande abbaye de femmes anglo-normande : la Sainte-Trinité de Caen (XIe-XIIIe siècle)

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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Harlitz Erika, Urbana system och riksbildning i Skandinavien

Harlitz Erika, Urbana system och riksbildning i Skandinavien. En studie av Lödöses uppgång och fall ca 1050 – 1646  [Urban Systems and State Formation in Scandinavia: A Study of the Rise and Fall of the Town of Lödöse, c. 1050– 1646], Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (Université de Göteborg)

Résumé/abstract :

The investigation and analysis of Lödöse’s political functions over a period of six hundred years has made it possible to follow and contextualize a town’s life cycle and development. Lödöse has been used as a case study which illuminates how and why a town emerged, developed and disappeared in medieval and early modern Scandinavia, in relation to the processes of state formation and urbanization. The theory applied is the Dynamic Urban Systems Theory. The position of a town within this theory is determined by the functions of the town, as well as the exclusivity of these functions. The influences of the Scandinavian state formation process on the town and the subsequent emergence of the river Göta Älv as the border of the realm have been ubiquitous during the evolution of Lödöse’s functions. The results of the dissertation have been reached by abandoning the interpretational framework offered by the borders of the Scandinavian national states and instead using the Glomma-Risveden region as a focal point. This way, it has been demonstrated that Lödöse was founded in the 11th century during the urbanization of the medieval eastern Norwegian region of Viken, and not as a power manifestation by the Swedish kings, as has been previously assumed. Due to the evolution of the border between the Norwegian and Swedish kingdoms, Lödöse in time became a part of the developing Swedish urban system. This system evolved and was shaped in such a way by the Swedish state that, by the early 17th century, Lödöse was rendered obsolete; therefore, the town ultimately lost its system position and was subsequently abandoned.

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Lamb Sally Elsie, Francia and Scandinavia in the early Viking Age, c.700-900

Lamb Sally Elsie, Francia and Scandinavia in the early Viking Age, c.700-900, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. R. D. McKitterick, Université de Cambridge)

Lanpher Ann, The Problem of Revenge in Medieval Literature: Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Ljósvetninga Saga

Lanpher Ann, The Problem of Revenge in Medieval Literature: Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, and Ljósvetninga Saga, Thèse de doctorat soutenue en 2010, (dir. A. Orchard, Université de Toronto)

Résumé/abstract :

This dissertation considers the literary treatment of revenge in medieval England and Iceland. Vengeance and feud were an essential part of these cultures; far from the reckless, impulsive action that the word conjures up in modern minds, revenge was considered both a right and a duty and was legislated and regulated by social norms. It was an important tool for obtaining justice and protecting property, family, and reputation. Accordingly, many medieval literary works seem to accept revenge without question. Many, however, evince a great sensitivity to the ambiguities and paradoxes inherent in an act of revenge. In my study, I consider three works that are emblematic of this responsiveness to and indeed, anxiety about revenge. Chapter one focuses on the Old English poem Beowulf; chapter two moves on to discuss Chaucer’s Reeve’s Tale and Tale of Melibee from the Canterbury Tales; and chapter three examines the Old Icelandic family saga, Ljósvetninga saga. I focus in particular on the treatment of the avenger in each work. The poet or author of each work acknowledges the perspective of the avenger by allowing him to express his motivations, desires, and justifications for revenge in direct speech. Alongside this acknowledgement, however, is the author’s own reflection on the risks, rewards, and repercussions of the avenger’s intentions and actions. The resulting parallel but divergent narratives highlight the multiplicity of viewpoints found in any act of revenge or feud and reveal a fundamental ambivalence about the value, morality, and necessity of revenge. Each of the works I consider resists easy conclusions about revenge in its own context and remains incredibly current in the way it poses challenging questions about what constitutes injury, punishment, justice, and revenge in our own time.

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