Tuesday, October 17, 2017


Skírnir’s Other Journey: The Riddle of Gleipnir


För scírnis-the eddic poem in which Freyr acquires Gerðr as a mate through the help of Skírnir, his skóveinn ´messanger´-plays a central role in our understanding of early nordic culture. So much so, in fact, that a great body of secondary literature has developed around it, encompassing virtually all theoreteical approaches to myth: Solar, ritual, […]

The Evidence for Maran, The Anglo Saxon ´Nightmare´


This article examines the Old English word mære, the etymon of nightmare, and its variants. I address a number of questions arising from our basic Old English data in order to underpin future efforts to interpret the Old English material. Four main issues are tackled. Firstly, the existence of a strong noun mær  as well as […]

Folk-Healing, Fairies and Witchcraft: The Trial of Stein Maltman, Stirling 1628


‘Folk-healing, Fairies and Witchcraft: The Trial of Stein Maltman, Stirling 1628’ is the first full publication of a trial record which is particularly valuable in the history of Scottish popular belief, that of Stein Maltman, of Leckie, about twelve kilometres to the West of Stirling. Although our text has itself been edited from the original […]

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 […]