Seond edition, fully revised and expanded.
1 online resource (xxx, 398 pages) : illustrations
text txt rdacontent
computer c rdamedia
online resource cr rdacarrier
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Magic, sorcery and witchcraft are among the most common themes of the great medieval Icelandic sagas and poems, the problematic yet vital sources that provide our primary textual evidence for the Viking Age that they claim to describe. Yet despite the consistency of this picture, surprisingly little archaeological or historical research has been done to explore what this may really have meant to the men and women of the time. This book examines the evidence for Old Norse sorcery, looking at its meaning and function, practice and practitioners, and the complicated constructions of gender and sexual identity with which these were underpinned. Combining strong elements of eroticism and aggression, sorcery appears as a fundamental domain of women's power, linking them with the gods, the dead and the future. Their battle spells and combat rituals complement the men's physical acts of fighting, in a supernatural empowerment of the Viking way of life. What emerges is a fundamentally new image of the world in which the Vikings understood themselves to move, in which magic and its implications permeated every aspect of a society permanently geared for war.
Online resource; title from PDF title page (EBSCO, viewed June 4, 2019).
1. Different Vikings? Towards a cognitive archaeology of the later Iron Age -- A beginning at Birka -- Textual archaeology and the Iron Age -- The Vikings in (pre)history -- The materiality of text -- Annaliste archaeology and a historical anthropology of the Vikings -- The Other and the Odd? -- Conflict in the archaeology of cognition -- Others without Othering -- Indigenous archaeologies and the Vikings -- An archaeology of the Viking mind? -- 2. Problems and paradigms in the study of Old Norse sorcery -- Entering the mythology -- Research perspectives on Scandinavian pre-Christian religion -- Philology and comparative theology -- Gods and monsters, worship and superstition -- Religion and belief -- The invisible population -- The shape of Old Norse religion -- The double world: seior and the problem of Old Norse `magic' -- The other magics: galdr, gandr and `Ooinnic sorcery -- Seior in the sources -- Skaldic poetry -- Eddie poetry -- The sagas of the kings -- The sagas of Icelanders (the `family sagas') -- The fornaldarsogur (`sagas of ancient times', `legendary sagas') -- The biskupasogur (`Bishops' sagas') -- The early medieval Scandinavian law codes -- Non-Scandinavian sources -- Seior in research -- 3. Seior -- Ooinn -- Ooinn the sorcerer -- Ooinn's names -- Freyja and the magic of the Vanir -- Seior and Old Norse cosmology -- The performers -- Witches, seeresses and wise women -- Women and the witch-ride -- Men and magic -- The assistants -- Towards a terminology of Nordic sorcerers -- The performers in death? -- The performance -- Ritual architecture and space -- The clothing of sorcery -- Masks, veils and head-coverings -- Drums, tub-lids and shields -- Staffs and wands -- Staffs from archaeological contexts -- Narcotics and intoxicants -- Charms -- Songs and chants. -- The problem of trance and ecstasy -- Engendering seior -- Ergi, nio and witchcraft -- Sexual performance and eroticism in seior -- Seior and the concept of the soul -- Helping spirits in seior -- The domestic sphere of seior -- Divination and revealing the hidden -- Hunting and weather magic -- The role of the healer -- Seior contextualised -- 4. Noaidevuohta -- Seior and the Sami -- Sami-Norse relations in the Viking Age -- Sami religion and the Drum-Time -- The world of the gods -- Spirits and Rulers in the Sami cognitive landscape -- Names, souls and sacrifice -- Noaidevuohta and the noaidi -- Rydving's terminology of noaidevuohta -- Specialist noaidi -- Diviners, sorcerers and other magic-workers -- The sights and sounds of trance -- `Invisible power' and secret sorcery -- Women and noaidevuohta -- Sources for female sorcery -- Assistants and jojker-choirs -- Women, ritual and drum magic. -- Female diviners and healers in Sami society -- Animals and the natural world -- The female noaidi? -- The rituals of noaidevuohta -- The role of jojk -- The material culture of noaidevuohta -- An early medieval noaidi? The man from Vivallen -- Sexuality and eroticism in noaidevuohta -- Offence and defence in noaidevuohta -- The functions of noaidevuohta -- The ethnicity of religious context in Viking-Age Scandinavia -- 5. Circumpolar religion and the question of Old Norse shamanism -- The circumpolar cultures and the invention of shamanism -- The shamanic encounter -- The early ethnographies: shamanic research in Russia and beyond -- Shamanism in anthropological perspective -- The shamanic world-view -- The World Pillar: shamanism and circumpolar cosmology -- The ensouled world -- The shamanic vocation -- Gender and sexual identity -- Eroticism and sexual performance -- Aggressive sorcery for offence and defence. -- Shamanism in Scandinavia -- From the art of the hunters to the age of bronze -- Seior before the Vikings? -- Landscapes of the mind -- The eight-legged horse -- Tricksters and trickery -- Seior and circumpolar shamanism -- Two analogies on the functions of the seior-staff -- The shamanic motivation -- Towards a shamanic world-view of the Viking Age -- 6. The supernatural empowerment of aggression -- Seior and the world of war -- Valkyrjur, skaldmeyjar and hjalmvitr -- Female warriors in reality -- The valkyrjur in context -- The names of the valkyrjur -- The valkyrjur in battle-kennings -- Supernatural agency in battle -- Beings of destruction -- Ooinn and the Wild Hunt -- The projection of destruction -- Battle magic -- Sorcery for warriors -- Sorcery for sorcerers -- Seior and battlefield resurrection -- Seior and the shifting of shape -- Berserkir and ulfheonar -- The battlefield of animals. -- Ritual disguise and shamanic armies -- Ecstasy, psychic dislocation and the dynamics of mass violence -- Homeric lyssa and holy rage -- Predators and prey in the legitimate war -- Weaving war, grinding battle: Darraoarljoo and Grottasongr in context -- The `weapon dancers' -- 7. The Viking way -- A reality in stories -- The invisible battlefield -- Material magic -- Viking women, Viking men -- 8. Magic and mind -- Receptions and reactions -- Cracks in the ice of Norse `religion' -- Walking into the seior: contested interpretations of Viking-Age magic -- Questioning Norse `shamanism' -- Staffs and spinning -- Queering magic? -- The social world of war -- The Viking mind: a conclusion -- Primary sources, including translations -- Pre-nineteenth-century sources for the early Sami and Siberian cultures -- Secondary works -- Sources in archive.
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