IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 1043: Lies and Liars in the Middle Ages: Perceptions and Punishments

Wednesday 5 July 2017, 09.00-10.30

Organiser:Ole-Albert Rønning, Institutt for Arkeologi, Bevaring og Historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Moderator/Chair:Ragnhild Marthine Bø, Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Paper 1043-aWhat Makes a Liar: Half-Truths and How to Get Away with Them in Old Norse Saga Literature
(Language: English)
Beate Albrigtsen Pedersen, Institutt for arkeologi, konservering og historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Mentalities
Paper 1043-bPants on Fire: Sanctions and Consequences of Perjury in Medieval Norwegian Law
(Language: English)
Ole-Albert Rønning, Institutt for Arkeologi, Bevaring og Historie, Universitetet i Oslo
Index terms: Canon Law, Law, Mentalities, Social History
Paper 1043-cPretentions and Proofs: Dubious Claims of Kingship in High Medieval Norway
(Language: English)
Ian Peter Grohse, Historisk Institutt, Høgskulen i Volda
Index terms: Political Thought, Politics and Diplomacy
Abstract

In a society that was built on face-to-face communication and trust, the liar was dangerous. They could be a political threat, ridiculing the powerful, and a spiritual menace, whose sacrilege brought on the wrath of God. But what makes a liar? What, in the medieval context, determined whether a statement or practice was considered untrue? This session aims to approach the issue of how medieval society dealt with the problem of lies and liars, how it constructed them and reacted to them, in the realms of politics, religion, literature, and law.