Friday, June 23, 2017

Rituals and Customs


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 […]

How Uniform Was the Old Norse religion?

 
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One often gets the impression from handbooks on Old Norse culture and religion that the pagan religion that was supposed to have been in existence all over pre-Christian Scandinavia and Iceland was rather homogeneous. Due to the lack of written sources, it becomes difficult to say whether the ‘religion’ — or rather mythology, eschatology, and […]

Changing Customs: Reflections on Grave Gifts, Burial Practices and Burial Rituals during Period III of the Bronze Age in Southeast Scania

 
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This study of grave dating from Period III of Bronze Age in southeast Scania discusses a limited number of graves, and the problems associated with the various approaches are highlighted, followed by a series of more or less speculative thoughts relating to burial practices and the significance of grave gifts.  The graves are interpreted as […]

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

 
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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

 
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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

 
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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 […]

Gods of High Places and Deep Romantic Chasms: Introductory remarks to a study of the landscape situation of Bronze Age sacriicial sites in the Lake Mälaren area

 
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“This paper outlines work in progress with the Bronze Age sacriicial sites of the Lake Mälaren provinces in Sweden. The project’s goals are twofold: a) to understand the landscape rules behind the siting of deposits, and thereby b) to develop predictive model that would allow scholars to ind undisturbed Bronze Age deposits without the aid of farmers, dredgers […]