Monday, June 26, 2017

Articles


Vafþrúðnismál and Grímnismál: Cosmic History, Cosmic Geography

 
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Óðinn is the protagonist of both these poems, which follow Hávamál in the Codex Regius. In Vafþrúðnismál he visits teh giant Vafþrúðnir in disguise to compete with him in a wisdom-contest in which the stake is the loser´s head.  Once he has established (by posing some questions about mythological facts) that Óðinn is a worthy […]

Narratives, Space and Drama: Essential Spatial Aspects Involved in the Performance and Reception of Oral Narrative

 
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In the past, oral narratives tended to be regarded as a two-dimensional phenomenon largely confined to the form of the spoken (or later) printed word. Over the last twenty years, however, oral narratives have gradually gained “thickness” in the eyes of folklore scholars who have increasingly demanded that more attention be paid to the social […]

Ritual Space. Ritual Year. Ritual Gender: A View of the Old Norse and New Icelandic Ritual Year

 
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The roots of this paper go back in part to a short chapter I was recently asked to write fora  book about Iceland in the present day.  In the chapter in question, which dealt with modern day Icelandic festivals, I underlined the importance of the sense of family for Icelandic society, and not least the […]

Goddesses Unknown I: Njǫrun and the Sister-Wife of Njǫrðr

 
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The present article attempts to fill a gap in modern Old Norse scholarship by presenting overviews of two highly mysterious figures, the apparent goddess Njǫrun and the unnamed wife  and  sister  of  the  major  god  Njǫrðr.  In doing so, this article thematically connects with previous discussion of the Vanir found in earlier issues of RMN Newsletter. Originally Published: […]

The Heroized Dead: People, Animals, and Materiality in Scandinavian Death Rituals AD 200-1000

 
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As an archaeologist, my interpretation of Old Norse religion is broadly formulated on the basis of the archaeological evidence, and in the Midgard Project my focus has been especially on people’s relationship with animals. hus, in this article the role of animals will be outlined in terms of lifestyle metaphors, social identities, and cosmological agents […]

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

 
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…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 […]

The Religion of the Vikings

 
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What will be outlined here are the religious beliefs and rituals of the Scandinavians in the eighth to the eleventh centuries including those who went for trade, plunder or settlement abroad, that is, the ‘vikings’ properly speaking. Some among them were already Christians but the vast majority of the population still clung to their traditional religion. From a modern […]

Myth and Ritual in Pre-Christian Scandinavian Landscape

 
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I grew up in the forest region of northern Sweden. As a young boy, an old female relative of mine, an aunt to my father, told me now and then of her encounters with the ‘small people’ when she was herding cattle as a herdess at the seter in the forests, especially of the beautiful […]