Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: The World Tree, Middle Earth & the Sun in Archaeological Perspectives

Tracing Old Norse Cosmology: The World Tree, Middle Earth & the Sun in Archaeological Perspectives

Paperback Vagar Till Midgard

By (author) Anders Andrén


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  • Publisher: Nordic Academic Press
  • Format: Paperback | 248 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 224mm x 24mm | 620g
  • Publication date: 1 March 2014
  • Publication City/Country: Lund
  • ISBN 10: 9185509388
  • ISBN 13: 9789185509386
  • Sales rank: 936,131

Product description

Old Norse religion is considered as one of the best-known pre-Christian religions in Europe, due to the rich and varied Icelandic literature from the 12th to the 14th century. Since the Icelandic texts are Christian there has been an ongoing debate regarding their value as sources for deeper knowledge about pre-Christian religion in Scandinavia. However, with the help of archaeology it is possible to show that some elements in the texts actually have a pagan origin. Archaeology can also be used to outline a history of Old Norse religion through time. The collection of essays is a thorough study of some fundamental cosmological elements in Old Norse religion, such as the sun, the world-tree and the concept of Midgard (i.e. Middle Earth). Andren argues that representations of all these elements can be traces through images and material culture during different parts of Scandinavian prehistory. By studying the history of these representations it is possible to outline a long-term perspective on Old Norse religion, including periods of fundamental changes.

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Author information

Anders Andren 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.