Nordic religions in the Viking Age
The popular image of the Viking as a horn-helmeted berserker plying the ocean in a dragon-headed long boat is firmly fixed in history. Imagining Viking "conquerors" as much more numerous, technologically superior, and somehow inherently more warlike than their neighbors has overshadowed the cooperation and cultural trade that characterized much of the Viking Age. In actuality, the Norse explorers and traders were players in a complex exchange of technology, customs, and religious beliefs between the ancient pagan societies of northern Europe and the Christian-dominated nations surrounding the Mediterranean.In this fascinating new work, Thomas DuBoh unravels for the first time the history of the Nordic religions in the Viking Age and shows how these ancient beliefs and their oral traditions incorporated both a myriad of local beliefs and aspects of foreign religions, most notably, Christianity.DuBois examines Angio-Saxon, Celtic, and Mediterranean traditions to locate significant Nordic parallels in conceptions of supernatural beings, cults of the dead, beliefs in ghosts, and magical practices. These beliefs were actively held alongside Christianity for many years, and were finally incorporated into the vernacular religious practice. The Icelandic sagas reflect this complex process in their inclusion of both Christian and pagan details.This work differs from previous examinations in its inclusion of the Christian thirteenth century as part of the evolution of Nordic religions from localized pagan cults to adherents of a larger Roman faith.
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Adalbjarnarson 1945 Anglo-Saxon appears archaeological Backman British Isles burial Chapter charms Christian church Cockayne communities Cross cult cultural dead death deities depicted divine Edda Eddaic poem Egils saga Eiriks saga rauda Europe Eyrbyggja saga Eyvindr faith Faulkes Finland Finnish Finno-Ugric Freyr Gliimr Glumr gods graves Grcenlendiga saga Gudridr Gylfaginning haf3i Hakon healer healing Heimskringla Helsinki Hermannsson Historia Norwegiae holy human Iceland intercultural King Haraldr King Olafr Kuhn land magic medieval menn Mjollnir mythology narrative Nordic region North northern Norway Norwegian Odinn Old Norse Old Norse term Oldfs saga Helga Oldfs saga Tryggvasonar P6rr pagan Porlaksson Porsteinn pre-Christian reflected relics religious ritual Saami Saami Religion sacred saga accounts saga writer saints Scandinavian seidr settlements shamanism sidan Sigurdr Siikala Snorri Sturluson spirit Stockholm stone Stromback Suomen supernatural Sveinsson symbol thirteenth century tion tradition Turville-Petre University Press Vanir Viga-Gliims saga Viking Age worldview worship