Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Animal and Plant Lore

The Mania of the Time: Falconry and Bird Brooches at Uppåkra and Beyond


…The bird brooches have been interpreted as ravens, with connotations to Odin’s ravens, Huginn and Muninn.  They could also be understood as representations of birds of prey.  Within the field of archaeology dealing with the finds in question there is caution about attributing the pictorial images to any species.  The question is whether it at […]

Þur Sarriþu Þursa Trutin: Monster-fighting and Medicine in Early Medieval Scandinavia


Health and healing has not been prominent in research on Old Norse mythology, for the obvious reason that it is not prominent in our medieval mythological texts – in stark contrast to mainstream Christian mythological texts like the Gospels and saints‘ lives, where healing and disease are prominent both in their own right and as […]

Elleborus in Anglo-Saxon England, 900–1100: Tunsingwyrt and Wodewistle


This article examines the meanings of the Latin word elleborus in later Anglo-Saxon England. They prove to have varied, from Ælfric’s implicit assertion around 1000 that elleborus had no vernacular Old English counterpart, to the association by the translator of the Old English Herbarium, perhaps around 900, of elleborus albus with tunsingwyrt, which seems to […]

Madness, Medication — and Self-Induced Hallucination? Elleborus (and Woody Nightshade) in Anglo-Saxon England, 700–900


Studies what Anglo-Saxons in around 700–900 understood by the Latin plant-name elleborus, looking particularly at Aldhelm’s Latin riddle Elleborus, which suggests that the word was understood to denote woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara). It examines the semantics of Old English words that gloss elleborus in earlier Anglo-Saxon sources: wedeberge, ceasteræsc, ceasterwyrte, and ælfþone. The article finds evidence for the presence of a copy of […]