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Adam av Bremens tempelskildring: En undersökning av Adam av Bremens påstående om ett tempel i Uppsala och dess relation till det arkeologiska materialet
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Theology, Department of Theology, History of Religions.
2015 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the fourth book in the extensive work of the Christian scholar Adam of Bremen, the temple of Uppsala is described along with the heathen’s rituals and practices. Adam of Bremen is the main source of the Swedish history during the late Viking era to the early Middle Ages, and that’s why his fourth book is still interesting for us to analyze over and over again. This essay deals with Adam of Bremen’s notations of the temple and the possibility of an existing temple, like the one in Adams descriptions. With earlier research and the archaeological material as starting point I’ve examined the probability of the existence of Adam of Bremen’s temple and if so, where in Old Uppsala it would have been built. In my study I also go through some of the previous studies about Adam’s temple and discuss different theories. The essay then continues with a discussion on more contemporary material in order to examine whether it is possible to say anything new about the temple. I’ve used content analysis to extract the key notions in the text in order to apply them on the archaeological material to see if they confirm each other. A historical critical method helped with the source criticism, since Adam’s Gesta Hammaburgensis is almost 1000 years old. The first part of the essay is a historical flashback from the research of the 20th century, where relevant material is discussed. The second part focuses on the material from the excavations Gamla Uppsala – framväxten av ett mytiskt centrum. In the early studies Adam’s Gesta was considered genuine and indisputable and so was the belief of the existence of the temple. Later it became obvious that Adam hadn’t experienced what he’d described, and many recent researchers chose to believe that part of the book is exaggerative, and that the temple was really just a hall. I’ve been able to see that not much of the old or the more recent material supports the thought of an independent temple building, and I agree with the researchers which suggest that the closest we’ll come to finding a temple is the multifunctional hall buildings. There are some interesting discoveries from the excavations regarding rituals in Old Uppsala. The ritual objects that were found were tied to several significant locations in the area, not to a specific building. The high-quality discoveries were linked to the royal estate plateaus (Kungsgårdsplatåerna) and it’s likely that the cult had been controlled by the conductive layer in society, which had its abode there.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. , 35 p.
Keyword [en]
Temple, Adam of Bremen, history of religions, archaeology
National Category
History of Religions
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-273759OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-273759DiVA: diva2:895016
Subject / course
History of Religions
Educational program
Upper Secondary School Teacher Education Programme
Available from: 2016-01-18 Created: 2016-01-18 Last updated: 2016-01-18Bibliographically approved

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