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Idolaters, Warriors, and Lovers: Muslims in Medieval Swedish and Danish Texts
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of Scandinavian Languages.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3890-4630
2016 (English)Conference paper, Presentation (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Between the Viking Age and the Middle Ages, there was a noticeable change in relations between Scandinavia and the Islamic world – the sources point to a shift from travel and trade to hostility and war. Muslims did not settle in the North until the eighteenth century, and during the Middle Ages there was little contact between Scandinavians and ‘real’ Muslims. So how did Danes and Swedes imagine and describe this Other? Is there anything unusual or unexpected about the portrayal of Muslims? How does this image compare to that of the other great religious opponent, the Jew? By investigating East Norse devotional texts, travel literature, saints’ lives, romances and accounts of Ottoman warfare, this paper aims to draw out some of the major themes in medieval Scandinavian descriptions of Muslims and Islam.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Old Danish, Old Swedish
National Category
Specific Languages History of Religions History
Research subject
Scandinavian Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294535OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-294535DiVA: diva2:930399
Public Lecture for the ARC Centre of Excellence for the Centre for the History of Emotions, The University of Sydney (19 May 2016)
Available from: 2016-05-24 Created: 2016-05-24 Last updated: 2016-05-24

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Adams, Jonathan
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