By Lotte Hedeager

Iron Age fantasy and Materiality: an Archaeology of Scandinavia advert 400-1000 considers the connection among delusion and materiality in Scandinavia from the start of the post-Roman period and the ecu Migrations up till the arriving of Christianity. It pursues an interdisciplinary interpretation of textual content and fabric tradition and examines how the documentation of an oral previous pertains to its fabric embodiment. whereas the cloth proof is from the Iron Age, most aged Norse texts have been written down within the 13th century or perhaps later. With a time lag of three hundred to 900 years from the archaeological facts, the textual fabric has until eventually lately been governed out as a usable resource for any research of the pagan earlier. even if, Hedeager argues that this is often precise concerning any learn of a society’s non permanent heritage, however it shouldn't be the an important requirement for outlining the assets correct for learning long term constructions of the longue durée, or their capability contributions to a theoretical realizing of cultural alterations and transformation. In Iron Age Scandinavia we're facing continual and slow-changing constructions of worldviews and ideologies over a wavelength of approximately a millennium. in addition, iconography can usually date the coming of latest legendary subject matters anchoring written narratives in a far older archaeological context. previous Norse myths are explored with specific cognizance to 1 of the valuable legendary narratives of the outdated Norse canon, the mythic cycle of Odin, king of the Norse pantheon. furthermore, contemporaneous old assets from past due Antiquity and the early ecu center Age - the narratives of Jordanes, Gregory of excursions, and Paul the Deacon particularly - could be explored. No different learn offers any such large ranging and authoritative learn of the connection of fantasy to the archaeology of Scandinavia.

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The post-Roman era of the fifth and sixth centuries is one such historical period of stress in the European past. It sees the formation of numerous new tribal histories in which origin myths and epic poetry go together to construct a ‘shared knowledge’ about the past. These myths identify a sacred origin and destiny of the peoples and their kings and they are of constitutive importance for the new barbaric – and Christian – kingdoms of the Early Middle Ages. Here Odin (Wotan) and Scandinavia play a formative role.

4). It is a matter of fact that the mythological Eddic poems, despite their origin and date, present a fairly consistent picture of the Old Norse gods (Lindow 2001: 14; Steinsland and Meulengracht Sørensen 1994) and it is beyond debate that the Eddic poems of The Poetic Edda represent the oldest form of literature from Scandinavia, composed in a strict metric form as a contrast to the prose form of Snorri’s Edda as well as the sagas. The first text of The Poetic Edda is Vo. luspá, the Prophecy of the Seeress.

However, the social and cosmological transformation around ad 400 has never been fully recognised, or thoroughly debated; neither have the historical forces that triggered this transformation. It is my hypothesis that the single most transformative component in postRoman Europe was the Huns, an Asiatic steppe-people who appeared in the Black Sea region in the late fourth century and for more than half a century acted as a forceful, feared – and above all alien – military and political power that paralysed most of Europe.

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