IMC 2004: Sessions

Session 1323: Verbal and Non-Verbal Play in Medieval Scandinavia

Wednesday 14 July 2004, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Judy Quinn, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic, University of Cambridge
Paper 1323-aFrom Vikings to Saracens: Fighting the 'Other' with Words at Sea
(Language: English)
Sebastian Sobecki, St John's College, University of Cambridge
Index terms: Maritime and Naval Studies
Paper 1323-bTaming the draugr: The Christianization of Old Norse Revenants
(Language: English)
J. Fernando Guerrero, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian
Paper 1323-cMentality Associated with Board Games in 13th-Century Scandinavia
(Language: English)
Annette Dahl, Centre for Viking & Medieval Studies, Universitetet i Oslo
Index terms: Archaeology - Artefacts, Daily Life, Mentalities

session grouped by Phil Cardew (25/11/03):
Abstract paper -a:
Insular literature has seen its fair share of maritime invaders between 1100-1400. Whereas many of the plots featuring pirates, abductions and invasions have not changed dramatically over that period, the ‘Other’ has seen a wide range of protagonists: Vikings, pirates, Saracens, and even merchants as in the ‘Guillaume Roi d’Angleterre.’ The tension created between the shifting aliases of the ‘Other’ on the one hand and the remarkably constant attributes of seaborne danger on the other reveals valuable insights not only into the writers’ awareness of England’s coastal vulnerability but also into the literary and artistic repercussions of micro and macrospatial changes.
Abstract paper -b:
The Old Norse set of beliefs had its particular conception of the un-dead. These creatures were called draugar and were usually of a corporeal nature. The draugar, as depicted in the Sagas of Icelanders had several characteristics particular to Germanic pre-Christian revenants. However, some draugar stories set at the period of the conversion of Iceland depict the draugar as hybrid creatures. These particular Old Norse revenants show several similarities with those of the continental Christian stories, but at the same time they keep their pre-Christian attributes. These paper will study the creation of such creatures as a result of the acculturation of Iceland and as a conversion tool.
Abstract paper -c:
The mentality in the Scandinavian communities in association with board games, in the medieval period, will be the main topic for this paper. It is fascinating to observe that board games were highly valued and had an immense significance at least in the upper layers of the population. The key sources will be saga-literature, laws and archaeology. Primarily it will concentrate on the 13th century, although it is of great importance to draw a few long lines to understand the changes in the attitude towards board games as for example hnefatafl.