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IMC 2016: Sessions

Session 315: In Addition to Daily Bread, III: No Ordinary Feast - Serving Up the Symbolic and Unsavoury

Monday 4 July 2016, 16.30-18.00

Sponsor:'Creating the New North' Research Programme, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges arktiske universitet
Organiser:Sigrun Høgetveit Berg, Department of Archaeology, History, Religious Studies and Theology, The Arctic University of Norwa
Moderator/Chair:Richard Holt, Institutt for historie og religionsvitenskap, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges Arktiske Universitetet
Paper 315-aFeasting with the Trolls of Nordic Literature
(Language: English)
Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough, Department of English Studies, Durham University
Index terms: Daily Life, Folk Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Mentalities
Paper 315-bHorses for Courses: Food and Faith in Early Medieval Times
(Language: English)
John-Henry Clay, Institute of Medieval & Early Modern Studies, Durham University
Index terms: Daily Life, Folk Studies, Mentalities, Religious Life
Paper 315-cTasting the Good News: Food and Drink Symbolism in Medieval Irish Narratives
(Language: English)
Cathinka Dahl Hambro, Institutt for kultur og litteratur, Universitetet i Tromsø - Norges Arktiske Universitetet
Index terms: Biblical Studies, Language and Literature - Celtic, Religious Life

The ominous presence of trolls in the northern cultural imagination extends to their culinary habits and the unsavoury troll feasts of the Old Norse sagas. The theme will be traced from the literature of the Middle Ages down to modern incarnations of gluttonous trolldom. Eating horse flesh was an abomination, tinged with pagan implications. Food taboos in the early Middle Ages illustrate what happened when food met faith. In the Bible, food and drink terms are used metaphorically in order to explain faith and knowledge of the Word of God. The same symbolism as that found in Scripture serves as a literary device in literature about the conversion of Ireland and for the announcement of the Good News through vernacular literature.