Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Online Academic Library

Of Fire and Water: The Old Norse Mythical Worldview in an Eco-Mythological Perspective

Odin, Magic, and a Swedish Trial from 1484


If we are to believe any number of histories, spiritual life in medieval Scandinavia, and especially the conversion to Christianity, is readily summarized: paganism collapsed against Christian conversion efforts in dramatic fashion at a meeting of the Alþing, or when a missionary bore hot iron, or an exiled king had a deep religious experience, or […]

Heroic Legend and Onomastics: Hálfs saga, the Hildebrandslied and the Listerby Stones


Several years ago, Gregory Nagy, referring to epic heroes from Greek, Indian, Hittite and other traditions, commented, “These constructs – let us call them simply ‘characters’ for the moment – are in some ways radically dissimilar from each other. Even within a single tradition like Homeric poetry, heroes like Achilles and Odysseus seem worlds apart. […]

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, […]

Burning Down the House Mythological Chaos and World Order on Gotlandic Picture Stones.


The Gotlandic picture stone monuments of the oldest type constitute a material manifestation of a “concept” which basically deals with world order and balance, from the single picture to the monument as a whole. This concept is detectable in myths, sagas and material culture alike. Only by paying more attention to the female agents of […]

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 […]