The course will explore the rich cultural heritage of early medieval Scandinavia with a particular focus on aspects related to mythology and magic. During the course students will gain a basic understanding of different categories of sources for Old Norse religion (Eddic poetry, Prose Edda, sagas of the Icelanders, runic inscriptions) and learn how to critically employ textual evidence in interpretations of archaeological finds.
Basic knowledge of archaeology and European history
Gain basic knowledge of various academic approaches to Old Norse mythology and Viking Age archaeology
Gain basic knowledge of textual sources on Old Norse mythology and magic (the Poetic and Prose Edda, selected sagas of the Icelanders)
Gain a basic understanding of the Viking Age and its archaeology in different parts of Scandinavia and the Viking diaspora
Ability to critically read Old Norse textual sources (in English and German translations)
Ability to compare Old Norse mythological accounts with portrayals of myths or mythical figures in Viking Age archaeological and iconographic sources (picture stones, runestones, metal and wooden objects, textiles)
PRIMARY OR REQUIRED BOOKS/READINGS: Andrén A., Jennbert K., Raudvere C. (Eds): 2006 Old Norse Religion in Long-term Perspectives. Origins, Changes and Interactions. An International Conference in Lund, Sweden, June 3-7, 2004, Vägar till Midgård 8, Lund.
Brink S. , Price N. (eds.) 2008: The Viking World, London-New York.
Eriksen M.H, Pedersen U., Rundberget B., Axelsen I., Berg H.L. (eds.) 2015: Viking Worlds. Things, Spaces and Movement, Oxford.
Gardeła L. 2014: Scandinavian Amulets in Viking Age Poland, Collectio Archaeologica Ressoviensis 33, Rzeszów.
Helmbrecht M. 2011: Wirkmächtige Kommunikationsmedien. Menschenbilder der Vendel- und Wikingerzeit und ihre Kontexte, Acta Archaeologica Lundensia Series prima in 4°, No. 30, Lund.
Price N.S. 2002: The Viking Way. Religion and War in Late Iron Age Scandinavia, Uppsala.
ADDITIONAL OR OPTIONAL BOOKS/READINGS: Brøndsted J. 1936: Danish Inhumation Graves of the Viking Age. A Survey, Acta Archaeologica7, pp. 81-228.
Fuglesang S.H. 1989: Viking and Medieval Amulets in Scandinavia, Fornvännen 84, pp. 15-25.
Gardeła L. 2013: The Dangerous Dead? Rethinking Viking-Age Deviant Burials, [in:] Conversions: Looking for Ideological Change in the Early Middle Ages, Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia 23, eds R. Simek, L.P. Słupecki, Wien, pp. 96-136.
Lucas G., McGovern T. 2007: Bloody Slaughter: Ritual Decapitation and Display at the Viking Settlement of Hofstaðir, Iceland, European Journal of Archaeology10(1), pp. 7-30.