Lexicographic approaches to the study of Viking Age material culture

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Judith Jesch’s groundbreaking work 2001 work, Ships and Men in the Viking Age, uses the lexicon of Viking Age texts as a starting point for a large part of its investigation of an important aspect of Viking Age material culture. Jesch restricts herself to texts that can be dated to the Viking Age itself: runic inscriptions and early skaldic poetry, but the method can be extended to texts that come later, where there is good reason to argue there is continuity in material culture. This paper presents some resources that can be used in a similar way to find words that, in context, can shed light on early Scandinavian material culture in fields such as food, warfare, building and so on. To find textual sources that deal with material culture researchers need a way of finding words that belong to the relevant social and cultural fields and easily accessing the texts that use them. This paper presents features found in the skaldic project and related projects (including lexiconpoeticum.org), as well as the Dictionary of Old Norse Prose. It will also explore the lexicon of textiles and clothing to explore what can be found from the textual records relating to the Viking Age.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date1 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021
Event38. Tværfaglige Vikingesymposium – 38th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium - Nationalmuseet/ The National Museum, København, Denmark
Duration: 1 Oct 20211 Oct 2021


Conference38. Tværfaglige Vikingesymposium – 38th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium
LocationNationalmuseet/ The National Museum

ID: 318020450