For individual articles, click the titles below.
Luke John Murphy
This article attempts to alleviate what it identifies as an ‘issue of communication and shared understanding’ in Viking Studies: the range of methodological concepts used in different discourses within the field. It proposes a set of approximate equivalences between a range of such methodological concepts, organised into two groups, intended to allow scholars to roughly but efficiently locate scholarship from outside their own speciality within more familiar systems of meaning.
Names of gods and other mythic agents are commonly seen as emblematic of the respective religions with which they are associated, both for researchers and for people involved in religious encounters. This paper explicates the relationship between names, images of mythic agents and people’s social alignments with religious or cultural identities. These factors produce sociolinguistic perspectives on both theonym etymologies and on uses of the same names today.
Mammoths have long been extinct, yet they seem to have left traces in cultural memory of peoples in the northern half of the northern hemisphere. As the largest and most powerful land animal encountered in those parts of the world, there can be little doubt that mammoths were integrated into the mythologies of these peoples. The present study explores this possibility and what might be reconstructed of such mythology.
The Sea/Earth/Heaven Formula in Cracovian Mythology, in Master Vincent’s Chronica Polonorum, the Old Norse griðamál and Other Similar Formulas 50
The early 13th-century Chronica Polonorum contains a tripartite sea/earth/heaven formula unique for medieval Polish sources but paralleled by a Germanic earth/heaven/sea formula. The Polish source and example are introduced and the Germanic comparative material is surveyed, including the more widely recognized bipartite earth/heaven (Old Norse jǫrð/upphiminn) formula, with some currently unrecognized examples. The strongest parallel is found in the Old Norse griðamál, and the possibility of Scandinavian influence is considered.
The Motivation Behind the Norwegian Law of 1604: The Danish Translations of a 13th-Century Norwegian Law-Code 57
Helen F. Leslie-Jacobsen
In the 16th century, numerous translations into Danish were made of the 13th-century Old Norwegian law-code, the Landslov, which was still in force in Norway. This article argues that these translations were made not only due to the linguistic difficulties facing Danes working with a law-code in Old Norwegian, but also reflect an attempt to stop the Norwegian legal system fracturing as a consequence of a multitude of Danish versions of the law.
COMMENTS AND PERSPECTIVES
Responding to an article published in a previous number of the journal, a perspective is offered here on our drive to interpret and understand features of cultures in the past, and how, in so doing, we can easily lose sight of the fact that cultures are made up of people, who are themselves thinking and interpreting from diverse and sometimes unexpected perspectives.
This is short article offers a survey of three statistically based phylogenetic studies of flood myths around the world. The three studies have been published in French. The results offer perspectives on the flood myths of the world having spread with population movements already in the Palaeolithic era. The purpose of this article is to make these results accessible to a wider readership with an added discussion of the collective findings.
This study introduces lexical proximity analysis applied to motif and tale-type summaries in order to identify structural oppositions, assess their relative prominence in a corpus and enable further analysis. Findings are presented and discussed from a pilot study to assess Claude Lévi-Strauss’s hypothesis that myths are characterized by ‘strong’ oppositions while folktales are not. The methodology of lexical analysis can, however, be applied with a variety of aims.
CONFERENCES, EVENTS AND NETWORKS
Konsta I. Kaikkonen & Jan A. Kozák
Amelia Herridge Ishak
Frog and Joonas Ahola (eds.)
PHD DISSERTATION PROJECTS
Outlanders? – Resource Colonisation, Raw Material Exploitation and Networks in Middle Iron Age Sweden 100
The Perception of Thunder Gods in Scandinavian and Northern Baltic Cultural Milieus: Idiosyncrasies, Changes and Possible Parallels 103
Victor Hugo Sampaio Alves
Early Modern Finno-Karleian Healing Practices in the Light of Cognitive Science and Ritual Theories 107
Lost in Translation: Adapting Supernatural Concepts from Old French Chivalric Literature into the Old Norse riddarasǫgur 114
The God on the Windy Tree: Christian Origins of the Figure of Wodan in the Cross-Cultural Relations of Northern Europe 118
B.O.B. van Strijen
Die altwestnordischen Adaptionen des Nicodemusevangeliums (Gesta salvatoris): Übersetzung und Kommentar [‘The Old West Norse Adaptions of the Gospel of Nicodemus (Gesta Salvatoris): Translation and Commentary‘] 122