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IMC 2023: Sessions

Session 1704: Ambiguity of Hospitality, III: The Norse World, 11th-14th Centuries

Thursday 6 July 2023, 14.15-15.45

Organiser:Miriam Tveit, Fakultetet for Samfunnsvitenskap, Nord universitet
Moderator/Chair:Wojtek Jezierski, Institutionen för historiska studier, Göteborgs Universitet
Paper 1704-aHigh-Status Foreign Guests in Medieval Scandinavian Households
(Language: English)
Beñat Elortza, Centre for Scandinavian Studies, Department of History, University of Aberdeen
Index terms: Politics and Diplomacy, Social History
Paper 1704-b'And to not spare any man who would cause mischief': Women and the Hosting of Outlaws in the Íslendingasögur
(Language: English)
Sigrun Borgen Wik, Department of History Trinity College Dublin
Index terms: Gender Studies, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Social History
Paper 1704-cThe Ambiguity of Urban Hospitality in the Norwegian Realm
(Language: English)
Miriam Tveit, Fakultetet for Samfunnsvitenskap, Nord universitet
Index terms: Economics - Urban, Law, Social History

Hospitality is a phenomenon that appears in the earliest Scandinavian sources. Hosting strangers that turn out to be Odin is a common theme shared by many sagas. To further explore the multifaceted reality of hospitality in the Norse world, the session consists of contributions that focus on social, gendered, and urban contexts of host-guest relations. Foreign, high-ranking guests navigated two seemingly incompatible realities - belonging to the upper stratum of society while remaining outsiders; in urban centres, guests had well-defined obligations, even though they lacked full rights. Hospitality, however, was not necessarily societally normative or legal; women sometimes offered hospitality to outlaws, even when this went against local jurisdiction or their husbands' approval.