The Livs are among the indigenous inhabitantsThe Livs are among the indigenous inhabitantsof Latvia, with an ancient and unusual culture anda complicated history. They belong to the Finnicgroup of peoples and Liv is included in the southerngroup of Finnic languages. The ethnic origin of theLivs has not yet been established with certainty,and there is still no consensus among researcherson the origins of the Livs and their descendants,the available evidence being contradictory.
We can speak more specifically of Liv culturaldevelopment from the 10th century onwards, whennew sites, unknown in previous periods andconnected with the Livs, appear on the lowerDaugava. Archaeological data does not support theview put forward by some authors regarding thelocal origin of the Daugava and Gauja Livs.Written sources provide information about theLivs from the 11th century onwards, where theyare mentioned in Scandinavian runes.
Iron Age Myth and Materiality: an Archaeology of Scandinavia AD 400-1000 considers the relationship between myth and materiality in Scandinavia from the beginning of the post-Roman era and the European Migrations up until the coming of Christianity. It pursues an interdisciplinary interpretation of text and material culture and examines how the documentation of an oral past relates to its material embodiment. While the material evidence is from the Iron Age, most Old Norse texts were written down in the thirteenth century or even later.
Begleitband zur Ausstellung "Odin, Thor und Freyja. Skandinavische Kultplatze des 1. Jahrtausends n. Chr." / "Odin, Thor and Freyja. Scandinavian Cult Sites of the 1st Millennium AD and the Frankish Realm," 11.02.-06.06.2017, Archaologisches Museum Frankfurt Neueste Forschungen zur altskandinavischen Religion und Kultpraxis.
The paper explores time measurements and perception of time by the ancient Slavs in the pre-Migration Period and Slavic settlement of Central and Southern Europe. It attempts to reconstruct a year, seasonal, month-like division and naming, as well as lunar and solar time measurement. Moreover, it explores and attempts to reconstruct what were the common Slavic month names that, is before 5th–7th centuries. It also, discusses the issue of adoption of Julian calendar across the Slavdom in the period between the 9th–11th centuries. The research is based on scarce limited written historical records as it explores the times before writing came to the Slavs. Hence to a large degree it relies on abundant ethnographic sources, as well as on linguistics. Therefore, in principle it employs a comparative methodology and often draws from Indo-European examples.
There are unique ethnographical collections in the Irkutsk's Museum of Regional Studies. These collections are the result of fieldwork of many generations of scientists. Peoples represented through these collections live in the Asiatic part of Russia. It is a vast territory: from the River Yenisey in the West to the Pacific Ocean in the East, from the Arctic Ocean in the North to China and the Central Asia in the South. The collections that represent the peoples indigenous to Lake Baikal's region (the Buryats, the Evenks, the Tofalars) are of paramount importance. These collections belong to the golden fund of our museum and they are the golden fund of world's culture as well. There are no collections of this kind in other museums of our country or abroad. The most exotic and picturesque things in our collections are attires belonging to Shamans of different Siberian peoples.
The bulk of the legends and other texts in this book represent rural oral traditions and folk beliefs of preindustrial Scandinavia. Most were collected from oral sources between the mid-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The final chapter, however, contains samples of narratives that are told in Scandinavia today, demonstrating the continuity of tradition as well as the changes wrought by the industrialization and urbanization of Scandinavian society.
The information presented in this book is mostly based on field materials collected among the Nanai (Manchu-Tungus group, which belongs to the smallest of three subfamilies of the Altaic language family).
This paper introduces a comparative analysis combined with a historical source overview concerning a particular Slavic god: Triglav. The aim of this paper is to verify the hypothesis that Triglav was, in the cosmological perspective, a deity connecting the structured layers of the world. Numerous indications from various written and archaeological sources may be drawn upon in the forming of a comprehensive picture of competences of this deity.
The Russian Primary Chronicle under 945 refers to the murder of Kievan Prince Igor by his tributary Drevljans and the revenge performed by his widow, Princess Olga. First, she ordered that the embassy from the Drevljans who arrived in Kiev be buried alive; then her servants set fire to the bathhouse where the Drevljan ‘best men’ washed themselves, so that they were burnt alive; and finally, the princess went to the place where her husband was buried and, during a funeral banquet, ordered the massacre of thousands of Drevljans. Each of the acts is interpreted as a ritual connected with the death of the Kievan prince. The three rituals form three stages of the princely funeral ceremony, which was determined by the idea of tripartite structure of the universe. The mythological picture seems to be spread among the Rus ́ and the Slavs of the ten-century Kiev. The story of Princess Olga ended with the expedition of her army to the Drevljan country in the next year, 946. After the long-time besiege of the Drevljan capital, Iskorosten, the city was burned with the help of incendiary pigeons and sparrows. Investigating the origins of the story of incendiary birds among the medieval mythological and literary narratives, the author supposes that it depicts a purifying ritual in the story of Princess Olga. The four disclosed rituals were converted into the historical episodes during the transition of them from oral tradition to the written narrative of the Primary Chronicle. In the origin of the historical narrative one can find the traces of Indo-European mythology and Scandinavian cultural influence.
This bibliography has been put together for the guidance of students studying the paper ‘Scandinavian history in the Viking age’ in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic, University of Cambridge. Its model and inspiration was the bibliography of the history of Anglo-Saxon England compiled by Professor Simon Keynes, and like its predecessor this bibliography also makes no claim to be anything other than an informal and ephemeral document, in this case providing a bibliographical guide to the sources of, and major themes in, Viking history.
The Pagan Religions of the Ancient British Isles: Their Nature and Legacy is a book of religious history and archaeology by the English historian Ronald Hutton, first published by Blackwell in 1991. It was the first published study of pre-Christian religion in the British Isles, dealing with the subject during the Palaeolithic, Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Roman occupation and Anglo-Saxon period. It then proceeds to make a brief examination of their influence on folklore and contemporary Paganism.
The Vikings have long conjured up images either of ruthless pirates ravaging the coasts of Europe or of heroic pagan warriors dedicated to Odin, god of ecstasy, poetry, and battle. These images, well attested in the medieval sources, are only part of the story of the impact of the Scandinavians on early medieval civilization. The first 12 lectures of this course deal with the evolution of a distinct civilization in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) on the eve of the Viking Age (790–1100). In 790, Scandinavians still worshiped the ancient Germanic gods and, thus, were divided from their kin in Germany or the former Roman provinces of Gaul and Britain who had adopted Christianity and Roman institutions. Breakthroughs in shipbuilding and the emergence of a warrior ethos celebrated in Eddaic and later skaldic verse turned Scandinavians from merchants into Vikings at the end of the 8th century. The second set of 12 lectures deals with the course and impact of the Viking raids between the late 8th through the early 11th centuries. Danish and Norwegian raiders profoundly altered the political balance of Western Europe. Danes conquered and settled eastern and northern England, a region known as the Danelaw. They compelled King Alfred the Great of Wessex (r. 870–899) and his successors to forge an effective monarchy. In France, Vikings under Rollo embraced Christianity and settled the fief of Normandy in 911, thereby founding one of the most formidable feudal states of Europe. Norwegian Vikings settled in the main towns of Ireland and braved the North Atlantic, settling the Faeroes, Iceland, and Greenland, as well as an ephemeral colony at L’Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland. In Eastern Europe, Swedes developed a major trade route from the Baltic to the Caspian, laying the foundations for the Russian principalities. The last 12 lectures explain the passing of the Viking Age. Over two centuries of overseas raids, trade, and settlement altered Scandinavian civilization. Scandinavians accepted Christianity and gained the high culture of Latin Christendom. Christian Danish and Norwegian kings in the 10th century first harnessed the Viking spirit to establish monarchies. Cnut the Great (r. 1014–1035), king of Denmark, England, and Norway, briefly turned the North Sea into a Scandinavian lake. His institutions and example inspired the formation of Christian kingdoms in Scandinavia and turned Vikings into Crusaders. Yet perhaps the most enduring of achievements of the Viking Age were the sagas and verse of Iceland that immortalized pagan heroes and Christian kings, Norse gods and indomitable settlers of the remote island.
This book offers a new approach to the problem of Slavic ethnicity in southeastern Europe between c. 500 and c. 700. The author shows how Byzantine authors "invented" the Slavs, in order to make sense of political and military developments taking place in the Balkans. Making extensive use of archaeology to show that such developments resulted in the rise of powerful leaders, responsible for creating group identities and mobilizing warriors for successful raids across the frontier. The author rejects the idea of Slavic migration, and shows that "the Slavs" were the product of the frontier.
If we consider the fact of the Russian attack on Constantinople in 860 as an isolated phenomenon detached from contemporary events in other parts of Europe, it seems at first sight a very simple, even insignificant, story: the Russians attacked Constantinople and its environs, pillaged and devastated the latter, were routed, and returned home. But such an approach would be absolutely unhistorical. The attack of 860 is indissolubly connected with the general course of European events in the ninth century, and cannot be detached from the main European movement of that period.
“The difference between faith and insanity is that faith is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence, whereas insanity is the ability to hold firmly to a conclusion that is incompatible with the evidence.”
― William Harwood, Dictionary of Contemporary Mythology
This work gathers all older fufark inscriptions found in Denmark, Germany, England, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, Bosnia, Rumania, Norway and Sweden. It includes essays on early runic writing, the contexts of runic objects, and a theory on the origin of runic writing.
The runic alphabet, in use for well over a thousand years, was employed by various Germanic groups in a variety of ways, including, inevitably, for superstitious and magical rites. Formulaic runic words were inscribed onto small items that could be carried for good luck; runic charms were carved on metal or wooden amulets to ensure peace or prosperity. There are invocations and allusions to pagan and Christian gods and heroes, to spirits of disease, and even to potential lovers. Few such texts are completely unique to Germanic society, and in fact, most of the runic amulets considered in this book show wide-ranging parallels from a variety of European cultures. The question of whether runes were magical or not has divided scholarship in the area. Early criticism embraced fantastic notions of runic magic - leading not just to a healthy scepticism, but in some cases to a complete denial of any magical element whatsoever in the runic inscriptions. This book seeks to re-evaulate the whole question of runic sorcery, attested to not only in the medieval Norse literature dealing with runes but primarily in the fascinating magical texts of the runic inscriptions themselves. Dr MINDY MCLEOD teaches in the Department of Linguistics, Deakin University, Melbourne; Dr BERNARD MEES teaches in the Department of History at the University of Melbourne.
Despite the enormous amount of material on the subject of Nazism, there has been no substantial work on its emblem, the swastika. This original and controversial contribution examines the role that the swastika played in the construction of the Aryan myth in the nineteenth century, and its use in Nazi ideology as a symbol of party, nation and race, treating it as symbolic phenomenon in a cultural context. By identifying the swastika as a boundary or liminal image, Malcolm Quinn allies visual anaysis to issues of material culture and history.
Oral Charms in Structural and Comparative Light. Proceedings of the Conference of the International Society for Folk Narrative Research’s (ISFNR) Committee on Charms, Charmers and Charming. 27–29th October 2011, Moscow / Editors: Tatyana A. Mikhailova, Jonathan Roper, Andrey L. Toporkov, Dmitry S. Nikolayev. – Moscow: PROBEL-2000, 2011. – 222 p. (Charms, Charmers and Charming.) ISBN 978-5-98604-276-3 The Conference is supported by the Program of Fundamental Research of the Department of History and Philology of the Russian Academy of Sciences ‘Text in Interaction with Social-Cultural Environment: Levels of Historic-Literary and Linguistic Interpretation’.
Christianity and Paganism in Procopius of Caesarea J. A. S. Evans an apparent ambiguity about Procopius of Caesarea's attitude towards the Christian faith which, ever since Edward Gibbon, has led modern historians into conjectures about his personal...