Scandinavian cultural traditions as evidenced by Viking Age runestones: how religion and politics were used to influence social change

Galantich, Christopher D. (2015) Scandinavian cultural traditions as evidenced by Viking Age runestones: how religion and politics were used to influence social change. MRes thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation considers Viking Age Scandinavian inscribed runestones in order to determine their societal origins and the impacts they had on Viking Age religious cultural changes. The three types of monuments discussed are: runestones with religious inscriptions and magical texts; runestones with mythic, legendary and religious imagery; and runestones with political and religious intentions. By comparatively examining Pagan and Christian runestones, the question of which culture initially drove the production of these memorials is addressed. Twenty-five runestones are examined in detail, including the stones of kings Gormr Gamli and Haraldr Blátönn in Jelling, Denmark which serve as primary case studies and representative examples. While religion is the dominating motif of Scandinavian runestones, the evidence shows that no conclusive answer exists on the Pagan or Christian origins of inscribed runic culture. This study proposes that religious hybridization or syncretism is the strongest possibility, yet further research into more precise dating methods needs to be conducted.

Item Type: Thesis (MRes)
Qualification Level: Masters
Additional Information: Due to copyright restrictions the full text of this thesis cannot be made available online. Access to the printed version is available.
Keywords: Viking, Runes, Archaeology, Runestone, Paganism, Christianity, Conversion
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Humanities > Archaeology
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Batey, Dr. Colleen
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Mr. Christopher D. Galantich
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6869
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2015 16:11
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2015 16:58
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6869

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