…nú knáttu Óðin sjá: The Function of Hall-Based, Ritualised Performances of Old Norse Poetry in Pre-Christian Nordic Religion

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Old Norse poetry and the society that generated the earliest examples thereof (roughly the Northern Germanic speaking area from c. 800 CE onwards) can generally be viewed as oral in nature, and recently the idea of the performance aspect of the Old Norse poems has been re-actualised by Terry Gunnell. What I propose to examine in this paper is the possible ritual framework behind these oral performances, which consisted of both the ritual space of a Viking Age hall and the ritual content of the performed Old Norse poems. By utilising archaeological material – mainly helmet-masks and halls – and applying Roy A. Rappaport’s ritual theory to the poems Grímnismál (‘Grímnir’s Sayings’) and Eiríksmál (‘Words about Eiríkr’), I will argue that not only were the poems meant for oral performance, likely in a hall, but that they may also contain ritualised 'performatives' and produce 'high-order meaning' creating social and moral obligation towards the group through the transformative performativity of ritual performance and participation. These transformative ritual features may be crucial to the creation and maintenance of group coherence in and the transmission of pre-Christian Nordic religion.
TitelThe Fortified Viking Age: The Fortified Viking Age : 36th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium
RedaktørerJesper Hansen, Mette Bruus
Antal sider9
ForlagSyddansk Universitetsforlag
ISBN (trykt)978-87-408-3212-9
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Begivenhed36th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium: The Fortified Viking Age - Syddansk Universitet, Odense, Danmark
Varighed: 17 maj 2017 → …


Konference36th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium
LokationSyddansk Universitet
Periode17/05/2017 → …

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