Våra publikationer


No abstract available.

Det danske imperium : Storhed og Fald

No abstract available.

Remembering the Vikings : Violence, institutional memory and the instruments of history


The Vikings maintain a fearsome and violent reputation to this day. This perspective on vikings was shaped by monastic chroniclers and dynastic propaganda. But are vikings the victims of history because their history has been written by their victims? Viking violence has been contextualised using comparative history but also as the result of a socialised warrior mentality. To church historians, vikings could explain the lack of memory in their own institutions; gaps in historical records are still attributed to viking devastation. Sometimes viewed as the instruments of God in the medieval period, now vikings are the instruments of history, either as convenient explanations or catalysts for change.

Remembering the Vikings : Ancestry, cultural memory and geographical variation


The Vikings are an excellent example of the significance of cultural memory: from post-Viking-Age sources to their rediscovery in the Victorian period to their popular appeal in current times. Ancestry is a key dimension as vikings could be dynasty founders or imbue a region with Scandinavian heritage. The importance of settlements remaining connected with Iceland and the Old Norse cultural milieu is highlighted. Archaeological evidence and non-Scandinavian sources can highlight the gaps in Norse memory, where specific events have been forgotten and some regions of the Viking world have received less attention than others. Stretching from America to Russia, the impact of postmedieval political events, of modern marketisation and of different scholarly approaches is also considered.

Introduction : Legacies of the Crusades

No abstract available.

Legacies of the Crusades : Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, Odense, 27 June - 1 July 2016. Volume 1


When war ended, the hard work began. Crusader warfare was only the beginning, for after peace came huge and often fundamental changes for individuals and societies. First it was necessary to establish firm and secure agreements between enemies, and take care of prisoners of war and refugees. Soon followed new legal systems, and new social groups emerged as old and new families intermarried, or entire segments of the population became subordinates under new rulers. And in a longer time perspective, the entire physical landscape was changed to conform to and express the beliefs and values of the conquerors.00The military expeditions of the medieval crusades are well studied, at different times and in many diverse areas, but the consequences for individuals and societies much less. This book opens up a new research area, and contributes with 11 studies covering the Middle Eastern crusader states, the Mediterranean, and the Baltic Sea.

En ny fond har instiftats till Jan Peder Lamms minne


Docent Jan Peder Lamm avled den 15 juni 2020. Vid sidan om sin långa yrkeskarriär var han mycket aktiv i Svenska Fornminnesföreningen dit han rekryterades redan som student, och han var under många år medlem i styrelsen samt sekreterare i Stipendiekommittén. Till minne av Jan Peder Lamms livslånga engagemang och stora arbetsinsats för arkeologin och för föreningen har Svenska Fornminnesföreningen därför startat en ny fond i hans namn, ”Svenska Fornminnesföreningens fond till Jan Peder Lamms minne” med inriktning mot den nordiska järnålderns arkeologi och bildvärld.

Building for Glory : Coins in the houses of the Lord in Gränna and Arby, Sweden


This chapter focuses on two general issues of relevance to the investigation of coin finds in church buildings based on case studies of two medieval churches, Arby and Gränna, in the province of Småland, Sweden.

Firstly, there is the issue involving therelationship between coin use in churches and the ownership of the church, whichcould be in the hands of either private patrons or parish congregations. What differencesin coin use might have resulted from the different ways a church might be managed? Can the coins help us to see such changes? Of central importance to this line ofinvestigation is the notion that coins reflect and are part of their historical context, butalso affected people’s everyday and religious lives (e.g. used for indulgences, masses,embellishment of church space, opening up interior space and power relations).

Secondly, there is the relationship between coin finds from churches and general coin use in society. How should differences in coin find patterns and fluctuations in the intensity of deposition be interpreted? To what extent are patterns from coin finds in churches useful for extrapolating and for interpretations of the role of coins outside of that specific context? Here, evaluations of the depositional processes and of the composition of the coin finds are of great consequence. This line of enquiry seeks to push beyond the common view that the church is “a society in miniature,” partly accepting it, but also underlining the unique character of the ecclesiastical context and of the events taking place in it, and thus the particular conditions for artefacts found there.

The results of this study of two Småland churches indicate, firstly, that coin use inside churches in Sweden only took off in a significant way with the formation of parishes in the thirteenth century, when congregations took over the responsibility for the church. Secondly, that coin use in churches was largely connected with offerings, and with certain events, such as the celebration of a designated saint’s day and fundraising for building projects. This raises the question of whether, and in what ways, fluctuations in the coin material found in ecclesiastical contexts may be used to discuss societal and economic phenomena outside of the church walls.

Ännu mer historia, på ett och samma paket

No abstract available.


No abstract available.

The Crusades : History and Memory. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East, Odense, 27 June – 1 July 2016, vol. 2


The crusades have been remembered and commemorated in many ways, from the late eleventh century until today. Soon after the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099, the fate of the First Crusade inspired literary, historiographical and artistic traditions. Participants in the subsequent crusades would look to the first Crusade for inspiration and spiritual guidance, while playing out their own ideas of crusading. Since then the crusades have been put to use in very divers ways and for different purposes. This volume explores how the crusades have been remembered, revered and ridiculed by those who participated in them and by those who in later periods made use of the crusades as an historical phenomenon. The volume thus traces the memory and legacy of the crusades by putting together essays that focus on the specific ways in which the crusades have been memorized, evoked and exploited from the eleventh century until today.

'Conversion' to Islam in Early Medieval Europe : Historical and Archaeological Perspectives on Arab and Northern Eurasian Interactions


In recent years, the influence of Muslims and Islam on developments in medieval Europe has captured the attention of scholars and the general public alike. Nevertheless, 'conversion' to Islam remains a challenging subject for historical research and demands more transdisciplinary collaborations. This article examines early medieval interactions between Muslim Arabs and Northern and Eastern Europeans as a case study for whether some individuals in Northern Eurasia 'converted' to Islam. More importantly, we address some key examples and lines of evidence that demonstrate why the process of 'conversion' to Islam is not more visible in the historical and archaeological records of Northern Eurasia. We find that, despite the well-established evidence for economic exchanges between the Islamic World and Northern Eurasia, the historical and material records are much more complex, but not entirely silent, on the issue of religious change. We also conclude that religious connectivity and exchanges, including with Islam, were common in early medieval Northern Eurasia, even if it is difficult in most cases to identify conclusive instances of 'conversion' to Islam.

The beginning, theoretical perspectives

No abstract available.

Valdemar 2. Sejr som hærfører

No abstract available.

Projektet Närkes vikingatida skatter och mynt


Landskapet Närke ligger centralt placerat i Mellansverige och var under vikingatiden en passage mellan olika områden. Detta kunde utnyttjas av områdets elit, som skapade överskott genom handel och utbyte och inte minst genom att strategiskt använda ädelmetaller för att stärka sina positioner inom släktskapsnätverk och politiska allianser. Bland annat kan en särskild koppling till Norge ses genom skattfynden.

War, Diplomacy and Peacemaking in Medieval Iberia


This volume offers insights into the nature of warfare, diplomacy and peacemaking on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, and the influences and entanglements resulting from these processes. The essays collected here emphasize both violent conflict and the brokering of allegiances and settlements, either within polities and common endeavours or between rival entities (such as the taifas of Seville and Badajoz in the fractious eleventh century). The volume begins with an account of Muslim warlords who sought service under Christian rulers in the tenth century and their historiographical fates, and embraces the whole of the Iberian Peninsula, from its western coast, in an analysis of the tightrope walked by the Galician monastery of Oia in maintaining its Portuguese domains at times of bitter conflict between Castile and its neighbour, to its eastern coast, as Catalan and Aragonese merchants coped with pirates and state-sponsored confiscation in the fifteenth century.

Från brödbyte och silverpenningar till kontantuppror


Att lära medeltidens nordbor att använda mynt tog hundratals år. Nu står vi först i kön till det kontantlösa samhället, vilket lär få oanade konsekvenser för vår relation till pengar – och varandra.

Frida Ehrnsten har disputerat!


Rapport från Frida Ehrnstens disputation med avhandlingen Pengar för gememe man? Det medeltida myntbruket i Finland, Helsingfors 16 november 2019.

Nordiskt numismatiskt forskarsymposium IX i Helsingfors


Rapport från Nordiskt numismatiskt forskarsymposium IX, Helsingfors, 15 november 2019.

I pestens tid : Ydre og indre fjender

No abstract available.

Knud Lavard - hertug og helgen

No abstract available.

1250. Handkvarnen

No abstract available.

The deplorable crusades – a view from Sweden

No abstract available.

Korskyrkan och "kastalen" i Brunflo : En ovanlig sockenkyrka med ett ovanligt klocktorn


The article examines the building history of Brunflo church and the origins of its large adjacent freestanding tower. Previous scholars have characterised the cruciform phase of Brunflo church as Romanesque, partly inspired by Gamla Uppsala cathedral. However, the article argues that the church probably underwent two phases of construction in the Middle Ages, one in the 12th century and one probably in the 15th or early 16th century.

Some previous scholars have characterised the tower as defence tower (Swedish kastal), whereas others have pointed out its lack of defensive features. The article demonstrates that the timber structure at the top of the tower is partly original. This construction resembles certain types of medieval Swedish timber bell tower, specifically the upper part where the bells hang. The author thus concludes that the Brunflo stone tower was originally built as a bell tower, as well as being a storehouse for valuable goods. Traces of storage space survive in the tower.

The article also presents a dendrochronological study of the above timber structure, showing that the tower was built in the mid-13th century.

When attempting to place these buildings in an historical context, the author concludes that although the origins of the earliest stone church remain obscure, the tower was probably built when Jarler (d. 1255) was archbishop of Uppsala. Given that the medieval archdiocese of Uppsala owned Södergård farm, adjacent to Brunflo church, the archbishop probably had a hand inbuilding the tower. The later expansion of the church, to include a new chancel and transepts to accommodate side altars, may be seen against the backdrop of the growing cult of saints in late-medieval Scandinavia.

Smeknamn i vardagslag och i skrift : Bruket av hypokorismer i det medeltida Jämtland


In this article, the question is raised whether the personal names used in medieval documents differed from the names used in oral communication within the local communities of that time. The author concludes that in Jämtland, a province in Mid-Scandinavia with a rather good source material for investigating this question, there was a difference. In everyday life, a lot of men were apparently called by their hypocorisms (nicknames), i.e. weak forms of their given names, e.g. Pale, Gumme, Gisle instead of Pavel, Gudhmund, Ødhgisl. In written, official documents, the given names were preferred. These conclusions are drawn from analyses of male names occurring in medieval place names (which are expected to reflect a naming custom close to everyday life) and in the extant documents from c. 1300-1550. Some comparisons with other areas are made. Female names are not dealt with in this study.

Hammarnäs, Haftorsnäs och Näset : Gård- och bynamn knutna till en jämtländsk by


This article discusses three place-names: Hammarnäs, the present-day name of a village in Hallen parish in Jämtland, Sweden; Näset, a name occurring in old sources, denoting the same village; and Haftorsnäs, recorded in 1499 as a farm name. It is argued that Näset (OSw. Næs) was the original name of the village and that Hammarnäs (OSw. Homannenæs) and Haftorsnäs were names given to farms in this village during the late Middle Ages. The last two of these names can be explained as containing the name of the mother village as their second element and a genitive form of a male name, OSw. Hamund and Hafthor respectively, as their first element, thus meaning ʻHamund’s farm in Näset’ and ʻHafthor’s farm in Näset’. Local residents bearin gthe male names in question are recorded in the sources. Later on, Hammarnäs became the official name of the whole village, while Haftorsnäs and eventually also Näset disappeared.

Ett monogram från barockens tid och målaren Set Knutsson : Attribuering baserad på stilanalys av skrift


In this paper a hitherto obscure Baroque artist’s monogram is deciphered. It turns out that it belongs to a master named Set Knutsson, who has used his full name as a signature on at least one preserved painting. He worked in Mid-Norway and in Jämtland in present-day Sweden from the 1630s and died in Trondheim in 1682. An attribution method important to this study is comparative style analysis based on painted script.

By- och gårdnamnsbildning i Jämtland från vikingatiden till 1500-talet


This article deals with a number of prominent types of settlement names in the province of Jämtland, from the Viking period to the 16th century. More specifically, it looks at names in -gård, -by (By) and ‑böle (Böle), and at two special categories of names with first elements containing a personal name or a common noun referring to a person. The aim is to elucidate in broad terms both the history of these name types and the settlement history of the central Scandinavian interior. The author analyses the settlement-historical context of the names, the content of their first elements, the overall chronology of the different name types, and the meaning of the place-name elements in question. The 15th century and the first half of the 16th emerge as a time of dynamic growth in the region – in contrast to the way this period has been portrayed in earlier research.

Donatorslängden från Alfta i Hälsingland - en 1200-talskälla? Namnskicket som dateringsgrund


This article deals with a medieval register known from a 16th-century copy, recording the individuals who had donated a meadow to the parsonage of Alfta in Hälsingland. Originally, the register was probably inscribed in one of the liturgical books of Alfta Church. Thirty-eight individuals, including 14 or 15 women, are named in the text. According to the copy, the donation was made in 1276, but the naming custom reflected in the register suggests a considerably later dating, c.1400–1450 (1426?). The erroneous year ‘1276’ probably goes back to a misreading of the Roman numerals Mcd- as Mccl‑.

A peripheral heretic? An early fourteenth-century heresy trial from Sweden


This article examines the inquisition against Botulf, the only person known to have been executed for heresy in medieval Sweden. It analyses the tactics of evasion that Botulf employed to escape detection and apprehension by tapping into common conceptions of the Eucharist to gloss his dissent. Through a close reading of the sentence in its historical, cultural and liturgical context, the article argues that it not only records a unique case in medieval Sweden, but that it performs clerical and elite identities by drawing on biblical and liturgical topoi, as well as antiheretical rhetoric to depict Botulf as a ‘membrum diaboli’.

A Treasured Persona : Re-Interpreting the Eketorp Precious Metal Deposition


The theory and practice of the object-biographical approach is the backdrop for this reinterpretation of the celebrated precious metal deposition from Eketorp in central Sweden.This example serves to demonstrate the potential of the approach for assemblages as well as single objects. The Eketorp hoard is one of a category of thematically composed Viking-Age precious metal depositions and contains an exceptional number of miniatures andpendants, jewellery, and some unusual coins. This paper presents new findings from excavations in 2017 and 2019, contextualises the hoard, reinterprets a number of the artefacts and points towards possibilities for further interpretation.

Virtues, Vices, and Vectors : Digital Tools and the Study of Medieval Sermons


In May 2018, a workshop was held at Malmö University on the subject of Digital History, bringing together Scandinavian scholars from a number of history disciplines. The purpose of the workshop was to discuss ontologies of digital history from different perspectives and can be seen as a first step taken in order to engage critically with this growing field and to create an inter-Scandinavian network. These scholars are active within, for instance, digital pedagogy, public history, history, and literary history.

In order to share the results of this workshop with a wider audience, a series of academic blog posts will be published every Friday for the next six weeks. These posts all engage with various aspects of the ontology of the digital and the “digital turn”: from a more general overview of the opportunities it provides, to its potential to bridge divides between disciplines and promote further understanding, and examples of practical applications in terms of new research methodologies. Questions are raised such as: how can digital media enable other forms of research communication than the book or article? How is the way scholars communicate their research shifting in response to new forms of digital media? Can digital methods promote cooperation between academic disciplines?

This text focuses on the methodological, theoretical and critical aspects of using digital tools in the study of medieval source material. With the increase of digitized historical texts, databases with user-friendly search functions, and digital projects (or TRCs, Thematic Research Collections) with a mixture of research tools and a variety of archival material, the possibilities for historians have multiplied. That so many medieval texts have been transferred into digital formats in the past few years is an obvious advantage for medieval studies. Everyone is grateful that we can now find critical editions and high-resolution manuscript images straight from our own computer screens, and do the time-consuming research right at home, instead of travelling to different libraries and archives across the world. Not only can we now download a text and do the traditional close reading (often) for free, but we can now also manipulate the data that would have been near impossible with printed texts. This is what brings us to using digital databases as tools in the study of medieval sermons – not just as a deposit for texts in an electronic format.

The digitized text itself allows for a re-evaluation of how we pose our research questions and calls for a critical discussion of the nature of our sources and the knowledge we gain from them. Although the process of making medieval texts available in a digital format is not complete (will it ever be?), [1] great accomplishments have been achieved in recent times that have made it possible to shift from the phase of reassembling and collation to one where scholars can use this new material in analyses that differ from ‘traditional’ methods of close-reading. In this respect, the methods that have been developed within Digital Humanities (reaching back to 1960s humanities computing, with its roots in the late 1940s) offer new and promising prospects for historians.


No abstract available.

Birgitta Birgersdotter and the Liber celestis revelacionum


On 7 October 1391, Pope Boniface ix pronounced the sanctity of Birgitta Birgersdotter—a Swedish widow who, 42 years earlier, had left her native country in order to settle in Rome, where she presented herself as a prophet. The widow’s primary claim to sanctity was constituted by the substantial literary corpus known as the Liber celestis revelacionum (“The Heavenly Book of Revelations,” hereafter the Revelations), which had been compiled by her confessors after Birgitta’s death, in 1373, to serve as evidence in support of a canonization. The Revelations, which spread swiftly in their original Latin and soon in numerous vernacular translations, purported to contain divine messages received by Birgitta directly from God, Christ, the Virgin, and several saints for the benefit of the Church and the salvation of humankind. Their content touches on most of the principal political conflicts and ecclesiastical debates of the time: the Avignon papacy, the Hundred Years’ War, the legitimacy of secular and ecclesiastical rulers, the state of the priesthood, apostolic life, the immaculate conception of the Virgin, the authenticity of relics, the Eucharist, and numerous other subjects. Within a few decades the Revelations, whose status and validity were continuously debated at church councils after the proclamation of Birgitta’s sainthood, were read in lay and ecclesiastical contexts all over Europe, including monasteries, universities, humanist circles, and various reform groups. How was it that a laywoman from the northern fringes of the world came to exercise such a great influence in so many different milieus in the later Middle Ages? The present volume seeks to answer this question by way of a study of Birgitta’s life and legacy. The following ten chapters will explore St Birgitta of Sweden, the Revelations, and the monastic order she founded, while also offering an introduction to the scholarship of the field.

A Companion to Birgitta of Sweden and Her Legacy in the Later Middle Ages


St Birgitta of Sweden (d. 1373) is one of the most celebrated female visionaries and authors of the Middle Ages and a central figure in the history of late-medieval religion. An aristocratic widow, Birgitta left her native country in 1349 and settled in Rome, where she established herself as an outspoken critic of the Avignon Papacy and an advocate of spiritual and ecclesiastical reform. Birgitta founded a new monastic order, and her major work, The Heavenly Book of Revelations, circulated widely in a variety of monastic, reformist, and intellectual milieus following her death. This volume offers an introduction to the saint and the reception of her work written by experts from various disciplines. In addition to acquainting the reader with the state of the scholarship, the study also presents fresh interpretations and new perspectives on Birgitta and the sources for her life and writings.

The Iconography of Birgitta of Sweden : Author, Prophet, and Saint


As the reputed author of Liber celestis revelacionum, an eight-volume literary corpus with a highly political content, Birgitta Birgersdotter stands out among the many laywomen who were venerated as saints in the later Middle Ages. In the canonization process, initiated immediately after her death in Rome in 1373, Birgitta’s assumed role as a divinely appointed prophet formed her primary claim to sainthood, and the textual work served as the principal evidence. The oldest extant images of Birgitta all derive from the first years of the canonization process when panel paintings and illuminations decorating the manuscripts containing the Liber celestiswere produced in Naples. Highly original iconographical formulas were developed for the two media respectively, most likely under the direct supervision of Birgitta’s confessors who had assisted her in the production and dissemination of her revelations. 

This paper will explore the form and purpose of the iconography developed for the promotion of Birgitta’s sanctity. Special attention will be given to the visual strategies by which the images seeks to negotiate her role as an outspoken public figure, an author, and an active political agent in a time when women were prohibited from instructing men in public, in both speech and text. The paper will also examine how the meaning of the original iconography of Birgitta developed as it spread from one medium to another, and in various social, religious, and linguistic contexts in Europe after the visionary had been elevated to sainthood only 18 years after her death.

Rude : Zisterzienser

No abstract available.

The Chair : Situating knowledge and authority in Viking and Medieval Scandinavia


Scientia potentia est — knowledge is power. Few things embody this sentence better than the chair. We will explore it through an amulet from the Eketorp hoard (Närke, Sweden), deposited in a wetland in the 960s.

Handelsfred och korstågsromantik : Gotlands första mynt, ca 1140-1290


Föredraget behandlade den äldsta gotländska myntningen, som präglades från ca 1140 till ca 1290 e.Kr.

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Professor Kurt Villads Jensen
Historiska institutionen
Rumsnummer: D998
Doktorand Thomas Neijman
Historiska institutionen
Rumsnummer: D854

Emma Holmberg
Historiska institutionen