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Same same but different: Spatiality in East vs. West Norse
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages. (The Norse perception of the world)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9233-0407
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages, Scandinavian Onomastics. (The Norse perception of the world)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8478-2040
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The study of spatial thinking and knowledge in medieval Scandinavia and its development as an area of enquiry are hampered by a dearth of information on place names in East Norse compared to West Norse literary texts. “The Norse perception of the world: A mapping and analysis of foreign place names in medieval Swedish and Danish texts” is a project based at Uppsala University that uses toponymy and other location-based items such as inhabitant designations in East Norse texts as the point of departure for visualizing the world-view of the medievals in Eastern Scandinavia. Comparing our project with the Icelandic Saga Map, an interactive mapping resource with a West Norse focus, shows differences in aim, material, and composition of the corpora. For instance, our project collects a wider range of location-based information including place names as attested in the manuscripts, their variant and normalized forms as well as metadata about the manuscript sources. The place names are further categorized according to type of name and locality which makes it possible to search for very specific information. Additionally, the Saga Map’s purpose is to “aid new readings of the sagas” which is mirrored in how the text of the sagas is placed alongside the map, while our focus is on the location-based data, and how these represent medieval world-views. For instance, the perception of Iceland as shown in the Swedish and Danish texts is markedly limited. On the whole Iceland is entirely absent from the world-view shown in East Norse texts, a result of the literature mostly being translated from mainland European sources, whereas Icelanders wrote their own history with the Íslendinga sǫgur and konungasǫgur, spatially covering both Western and Eastern Scandinavia. This paper addresses the discrepancy between the East and West representations in the two corpora and questions whether the picture actually reflects the medievals’ knowledge of the neighbouring areas.

References: 

Icelandic Saga Map, 2018, http://sagamap.hi.is/is/

The Norse perception of the world, 2018, https://www.uu.se/en/research/infrastructure/norseworld

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
Spatial Humanitites, onomastics, Digital Humanities, East Norse, Old Norse, GIS
National Category
Specific Languages
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-371097OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-371097DiVA, id: diva2:1272641
Conference
The 17th International Saga Conference, August 12-17, 2018, Reykjavik, Iceland
Funder
Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, IN16-0093:1Available from: 2018-12-19 Created: 2018-12-19 Last updated: 2020-01-09Bibliographically approved

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https://sagaconference2018.hi.is/

Authority records BETA

Backman, AgnieszkaPetrulevich, Alexandra

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