IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1012: A Tale of No Cities?: Urban and Non-Urban Centres in the Norse World

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 09.00-10.30

Sponsor:Viking Society for Northern Research
Organiser:Pragya Vohra, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Moderator/Chair:John S. McKinnell, Centre for Medieval & Renaissance Studies
Paper 1012-aSome'þing' to Talk About: The Literary Function of the Alþing in Old Norse Literature
(Language: English)
Hannah Burrows, Department of English & Related Literature, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Social History
Paper 1012-bNew Farm on the Block: Social Relations on a Land-Claim during the Icelandic Landnám
(Language: English)
Pragya Vohra, Centre for Medieval Studies, University of York
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Social History
Paper 1012-cThe Role of Towns in the Evolution of Danish Law Books in the Late Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Lena Rohrbach, Historisches Seminar, Universität Zürich
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Law
Abstract

Despite the rise of urban centres across Europe in the early Middle Ages, there is a marked absence of what could be termed ‘urban’ in the West Norse world as late as the turn of the second millennium. This session aims to explore the development and functioning of alternative centres of activity that would not conventionally be brought under the umbrella of the term ‘city’ but which have equally important resonances. Paper a aims to look at the importance of the Icelandic Althing as a social centre in terms of its depiction in Old Norse literature. Paper b considers the establishment of social networks between farmsteads on a single land claim during and as a result of the Icelandic Landnam, and the possibility of these functioning as a single unit.