Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: The World Tree, Middle Earth, and the Sun from Archaeological Perspectives

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Nordic Academic Press, 1. jaan 2014 - 247 pages
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The study of Old Norse religion is a truly multidisciplinary and international field of research. The rituals, myths, and narratives of pre-Christian Scandinavia have been studied and interpreted in detail relying mainly on Christian Icelandic literature from the Middle Ages. Here, Anders Andrén offers a long-term perspective on Old Norse cosmology and argues that the fundamental ideas of an ordered universe, time, and space in Old Norse religion can be studied in a dialogue between archaeology and the Icelandic narrative tradition. Ideas about the world tree, middle earth, and the sun can be traced in images and material culture from Scandinavian prehistory. By combining the prehistoric representations with the later written record the author presents a fresh and nuanced study of the fascinating Old Norse world.

 

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Contents

Preface
7
In the shadow ofYggdrasill
27
A world of stone
69
Whirls horses and ships
117
Placing Old Norse cosmology in time and space
169
References
193
Index
231
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About the author (2014)

Anders Andrén is professor of archaeology at Stockholm University. He was formerly professor of medieval archaeology at Lund University, and has also been a visiting scholar in Athens, Cambridge, Copenhagen, Heidelberg, Sydney, and Uppsala.

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