This book aims to investigate the taking and giving of hostages in peace processes during the Viking Age and early Middle Ages in Scandinavia and adjacent areas. Scandinavia has been absent in previous research about hostages from the perspectives of legal and social history, which has mostly focused on Antiquity (the Roman Empire), Continental Germanic cultures, such as the Merovingian realm, and Anglo-Saxon England.
The examples presented are from confrontations between Scandinavians and other peoples in which the hostage giving and taking was displayed as a ritual act and thus became symbolically important. Hostages were a vital part of the peace processes and used as resources by both sides in the ‘areas of communication’ within the ‘areas of confrontation’. Literary texts as well as runic inscriptions, picture stones, place names, and personal names are used as source material.
‘It is a work of very high academic quality. It is based upon meticulous and thorough studies of a great variety of sources. The author has definitely a very good knowledge of the source material. It is a very good study of a previously neglected research field.’ — Thomas Lindkvist, Professor emeritus, University of GothenburgBook Details
The authors of the present volume, Myth, Materiality, and Lived Religion, focus on the material dimension of Old Norse mythology and the role played by myths in everyday life. More broadly expressed, the collection looks at the social, ceremonial and material contexts of myths. This topic has been underexplored in previous research on Old Norse myths, despite its important theoretical implications. However, discussions around materiality, in a more general sense, have for a long time been significant for historians of religion, especially archaeologists. Myth, Materiality, and Lived Religion seeks to make the case for the relevance of materiality to literary historians and philologists as well.
Questions relating to the theme of materiality and lived religion are posed in this book, including:
• What do myths tell us about the material culture of the periods in which they were narrated?
• What role did myths or mythical beings play in connection to, for instance, illnesses and remedies during the Viking Period and the Middle Ages?
• How did ordinary people experience participation in a more formal sacrificial feast led by ritual specialists?
The editors of this book are all associated with the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Genders Studies at Stockholm University, Sweden.Book Details
At the beginning of the 1960s, Swedish researchers started a sociological study of all children born in Stockholm in 1953, Project Metropolitan. This book describes the project’s at times dramatic history, where issues of personal integrity and the role of social sciences were heavily debated. These discussions were fueled by the rapid and far-reaching digitalization in society at large and also within social sciences. As such, Project Metropolitan came to symbolize the benefits and potential risks related to an expanding body of research based on large groups of individuals and multiple register data sources.
At the outset, the project’s founders sought to answer the following question: “Why do some get on better in life than others?” One of the main aims of the project was to study the long-term impact of conditions in childhood. The book therefore also includes an updated presentation of the main findings, as they have been conveyed in over 160 publications to date. These publications cover a wide array of topics and phenomena such as social mobility and education, substance abuse and crime, health and ill-health, peer influences and family relations, and adult lives of adopted children.
Today Project Metropolitan is known as the “Stockholm Birth Cohort Multigenerational Study (SBC Multigen)” and is still in full vigor. From its original group of 15,000 children, the study has become multi-generational by adding data about their parents, siblings, children, nieces and nephews. As they approach their late 60s, it will also be possible to follow these “children” into retirement and old-age.
In the concluding chapter the author discusses some of the challenges contemporary social research is facing. What are the current threats to academic freedom and what opportunities do the unique data registers in countries like Sweden provide?Book Details
In the two centuries since Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito was first performed, and the almost three centuries since Metastasio created the libretto, many rumours, myths and prejudiced opinions have gathered around the work, creating a narrative that Mozart, Mazzolà and their contemporaries would scarcely recognise.
The essays in this book contribute ideas, facts and images that will draw the twenty-first-century reader closer to the events of Central Europe in the late eighteenth century, and these new facts and ideas will help peel off some of the transmitted accretions that may hinder a modern listener from enjoying and understanding the opera in all its fullness. In this sense the essays present the reappraisal promised in the title.
The book is a product of the Performing Premodernity research project, funded by the Swedish Foundation for Humanities and Social Sciences and based at the department of theatre studies of Stockholm University. Envisioned and edited by Magnus Tessing Schneider and Ruth Tatlow, the five essays by internationally renowned Mozart scholars are preceded by a chronology and a selection of original documents presented in new and revised parallel translations.
Praise for Mozart’s La clemenza di Tito: A Reappraisal
“[The monograph] supplies a wealth of information and thoughts about this opera, which has seldom been treated in such detail. It is a very welcome complement to John A. Rice’s 1991 monograph and to Emanuele Senici’s 1997 dissertation on the reception of La clemenza di Tito.”
“The idea of starting the volume with a documented critical chronology of sources relating to the genesis and reception of the opera is brilliant.”
— Lorenzo Bianconi, Università di BolognaBook Details
Anarchism and religion have historically had an uneasy relationship. Indeed, representatives of both sides have regularly insisted on the fundamental incompatibility of anarchist and religious ideas and practices. Yet, ever since the emergence of anarchism as an intellectual and political movement, a considerable number of religious anarchists have insisted that their religious tradition necessarily implies an anarchist political stance. Their stories are finally gaining increasing public and scholarly attention.
Reflecting both a rise of interest in anarchist ideas and activism on the one hand, and the revival of religious ideas and movements in the political sphere on the other, this book examines a range of examples of overlaps and contestations between the two from a diverse range of academic perspectives.
The first pioneering volume of Essays in Anarchism & Religion comprises eight essays from leading international scholars on topics ranging from the anarchism of the historical Jesus to Zen Buddhism and the philosophies of Max Stirner and Pierre-Joseph Proudhon.
In a world where political ideas increasingly matter once more, and religion is an increasingly visible aspect of global political life, these essays offer scholarly analysis of overlooked activists, ideas and movements, and as such reveal the possibility of a powerful critique of contemporary global society.
"This book series is being funded via a crowdfunding campaign. For more information, or to make a donation for the next volume, please visit the funding page. This scheme ensures that the content will remain fully open access.Book Details
Today's society is often characterized as a knowledge society, in contrast to the earlier industrial society. Historians however know that all societies are and have been knowledge societies. Without the ability to create, transfer, and use knowledge, between individuals and groups, power areas would neither have been built nor maintained.
This edited volume reflects how historical actors, both those in power as well as laymen and officials, have produced and utilised information and knowledge from the Middle Ages until today. It acommodates research into census, urbanisation, history of kings and queens, exercise of public authority, social and political movements, disciplining and formation of opinion.
In Kunskapens tider. Historiska perspektiv på kunskapssamhället (”The knowledge society. A historical perspective”) nine researchers from the Department of History at Stockholm University contribute with examples of the need for and use of knowledge, in different historical situations and periods.
This book is in Swedish:
Dagens samhälle karaktäriseras ofta som kunskapssamhället, till skillnad från det tidigare industrisamhället. Historiker vet dock att alla samhällen är och har varit kunskapssamhällen: Utan möjligheter att skapa, överföra och använda kunskap, såväl individer som grupper emellan, hade maktområden varken kunnat byggas eller vidmakthållas.
Antologin speglar hur historiska aktörer, såväl makthavare som lekmän och tjänstemän, har producerat och utnyttjat information och kunskap från medeltiden till idag. Här ryms forskning om folkräkning, urbanisering, kungars historieskrivning, myndighetsutövning, sociala och politiska rörelser, disciplinering och opinionsbildning.
I Kunskapens tider bidrar nio medarbetare från Historiska institutionen vid Stockholms universitet med exempel på hur behovet och användandet av kunskap sett ut i olika historiska situationer och tidsperioder.Book Details
What were the ideas about conflicts and conflict resolutions in the Nordic countries during the Vendel Period and the Viking Age? What role did i.e. gender and power hierarchies play in the conflicts?
All of the contributing texts are, in one way or another, related to the theme ‘war and peace’. They present new interpretations of some of the Old Scandinavian texts as well as of archaeological material: the runic inscription on the Eggja stone (Andreas Nordberg), texts about the fight between the god Thor and the giant Hrungnir (Tommy Kuusela), about the valkyries (Britt-Mari Näsström), about a phalos cult (Maths Bertell), about fylgjur, a type of beings regarded as related to the fate of a person (Eldar Heide), about enclosed areas for fights and battles (Torsten Blomkvist), about the defilement of sacred areas and places as a power strategy (Olof Sundqvist), about ritualisations of peace negotiations (Stefan Olsson), and about Ragnarök, the end and renewing of the world (Anders Hultgård).
The book has been edited by Hakan Rydving and Stefan Olsson, both from the The Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion (AHKR) at the University of Bergen.
This book is published in Swedish:
Vilka idéer om konflikter och konfliktlösningar hade man i Norden under vendel- och vikingatid (från ca 550 till ca 1100)? Hur uppfattades gudar som Oden och Tor och andra väsen som valkyrior och fylgjor kunna påverka krig och fred? Hur reglerades användningen av våld och hur utformades fredsprocesser? Vilken roll spelade kön och makthierarkier i konflikterna? Hur förhåller sig de förkristna skandinaviska föreställningarna om den sista striden till motsvarande kristna och forniranska traditioner? Det är några av de frågor som bidragen i den här boken diskuterar. Undersökningarna baseras i huvudsak på texter från den aktuella perioden och från tidig medeltid, men också på arkeologiskt material. De ger intressanta exempel på hur källorna till vendel- och vikingatida traditioner kan analyseras om man tar utgångspunkt i frågor om krig och fred.
Boken har redigerats av Håkan Rydving och Stefan Olsson, båda verksamma vid Institutt for arkeologi, historie, kultur- og religionsvitskap (AHKR) vid Universitetet i Bergen.Book Details
The multifarious and sometimes contested concept of “shamanism” has aroused intense popular and scholarly interest since its initial coinage by the Russian scholar V. M. Mikhailovsky in the late 19th century. In this book, three leading scholars, representing different branches of the humanities, dwell on the current status of shamanic practices and conceptions of the soul, both as ‘etic’ scholarly categories in historical research and as foci of spiritual revitalization among the indigenous populations of post-Soviet Siberia.
Framed by an introduction and a critical afterword by historian of religions Ulf Drobin, the three essays address issues crucial to the understanding of cultural history and the history of religions. Marjorie Mandelstam Balzer, Research Professor in CERES, and the Department of Anthropology at the University of Georgetown, Jan N. Bremmer, professor emeritus and former Chair of Religious Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen and Carlo Ginzburg at Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa.
The editor Peter Jackson, is Professor at the Department of Ethnology, History of Religions and Gender Studies at Stockholm University.Book Details