39th Interdisciplinary Viking Symposium

 Ritual Performance in the Viking Age

The performance of rituals is a key component to the understanding of the culture of Late Iron Age and Viking Age Scandinavia, which was marked by tremendous social and religious transformations. New approaches to social, political, and religious rituals are currently offering stimulating new perspectives on the period and the entanglements of symbolism, exercise of power, materiality and agency. Research on finds such as anthropomorphic images or hall structures, as well as new interpretations of well-known textual and material sources point to the continued relevance of the ritual perspective for exploring the Viking-Age mind-set. This symposium invites questions of what, how, why as well as by or for whom rituals of various kinds were performed in the Viking Age. By considering the involvement of people, words, things and spaces in ritual acts, it will provide an interdisciplinary forum for deepening our understanding of ritual performance in the period.

Download the programme here

39th Interdisciplinary Vikingsymposium 20 May 2022, Aarhus University
AUD 3 (1441-113), Tåsingegade 3, 8000 Aarhus C

10:15-10:45 Registration and coffee

10:45-11:00 Welcome by the organizers, Sarah Croix, Simon Nygaard and Søren M. Sindbæk.



11:00-12:30 Morning Session (Chair: Jens Peter Schjødt)

11:00-11:30 Laurine Albris (The National Museum of Denmark): ”Hornbearer and the Weapondancer: Some Thoughts on Cult Functionaries and Personal Names in Late Iron Age and Viking Age Scandinavia”

11:30-12:00 Sophie Bønding (The National Museum of Denmark): ”Managing randomness: The Divinatory Practices of Viking-Age völur in Material Perspective”

12:00-12:30 Simon Nygaard (Aarhus University): ”Runic Poetry from Viking Age Denmark in a Ritual and Contextual Perspective”

12:30-13:30 Lunch break


13:30-15:00 Afternoon Session (Chair: Else Roesdahl)

13:30-14:00 Neil Price (Uppsala University): ”Viking-Age Ritual Behaviour and the Parameters of Performance”

14:00-14:30  Leszek Gardeła (The National Museum of Denmark): ”Mind and Metal: New Thoughts on Miniature Paraphernalia from the Viking Age”

14:30-15:00  Sarah Croix (Aarhus University): ”The Hand that Holds the Knife: Ritual Killings, Amulets and Dead Horses”

15:00-15:30 Coffee break

15:30-16:30 Afternoon Session (continued)

15:30-16:00 Luke John Murphy (Háskoli Íslands): ”Virtual Vibrations: Acoustic Analysis of Ritual Performance Spaces in the Viking Age”

16:00-16:30 Marianne Hem Eriksen (University of Leicester): ”Bodies of Intoxication””

15:50-15:55 Closing statement

c. 18.00 Conference dinner(registration requires, self paid)


Register before 10 May 2022 for participation through this link: https://events.au.dk/vikingsymposium2022/about


Sarah Croix, marksc@cas.au.dk

Simon Nygaard, sn@cas.au.dk

Søren M. Sindbæk, farksms@cas.au.dk