Course title myth and magic in the viking age



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SYLLABUS



COURSE TITLE

MYTH AND MAGIC IN THE VIKING AGE

Faculty/Institute

INSTITUTE OF ARCHAEOLOGY

COURSE CODE




DEGREE PROGRAMME

FIELD OF STUDY

Degree LEVEL

Forma studiów/STUDY MODE

ARCHAEOLOGY

MA

FULL-TIME STUDIES




COURSE FORMAT

COLLOQUIUM

YEAR AND SEMESTER

FIRST year, SUMMER SEMESTER

Name of the teacher

LESZEK GARDEŁA ph.d.

COURSE OBJECTIVES

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.



PREREQUISITES

Basic knowledge of archaeology and European history


LEARNING OUTCOMES


KNOWLEDGE:

By the end of the course the student should:



  • 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


SKILLS:


  • 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)

  • Development of skills in interdisciplinary research

  • Development of academic writing skills


FINAL COURSE OUTPUT - SOCIAL COMPETENCES

The student will be able to critically assess textual and archaeological evidence from the Middle Ages and develop essential skills in the field of Viking studies.



COURSE ORGANISATION –LEARNING FORMAT AND NUMBER OF HOURS

COLLOQUIUM, 15 TEACHING Hours (1 HOUR = 45 MINS)



COURSE DESCRIPTION

Main topics:

1. Into the Viking Age. Sources, places, and artefacts

2. War and peace. Material culture of the Viking Age

3. Yggdrasil and the nine worlds. Old Norse cosmogony and cosmology

4. Gods and heroes

5. The cult of Odinn

6. Archaeology of Norse myth and magic

7. Seidr and shamanism

8. Ritual specialists and their attributes


METHODS OF INSTRUCTION

Lecture, Discussion, analysis of cases, interactive presentation

REQUIREMENTS AND ASSESSMENTS

GRADING SYSTEM

The final grade is based on:

- active participation in the course – 50%

- final paper – 30%

- final presentation – 20%



TOTAL STUDENT WORKLOAD NEEDED TO ACHIEVE EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES EXPRESSED

IN TIME AND ECTS CREDIT POINTS




Activities

Student hours

Course

15

Preparation for classes

20

Preparation of presentation

10

Preparation of paper

30

TOTAL TIME

75

ECTS

3




LANGUAGE OF INSTRUCTION

ENglish

INTERNSHIP

NON-APPLICABLE

MATERIALS

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 Archaeologica 7, 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 Archaeology 10(1), pp. 7-30.





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