Horses in Viking Age ritual action

Evans Tang, Harriet and Ruiter, Keith (2023) Horses in Viking Age ritual action. In: The Norse Sorceress: Mind and Materiality in the Viking World. Oxbow Books, Oxford. ISBN 9781789259537

[img] Text
REVISED The Roles of Horses in Viking Age Ritual Action.docx - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (113kB)


The horse was ubiquitous in the Viking Age. Horses were physically present as a means of transportation, draught animals, high-value commodities, and/or non-human companions. They also loomed large in the mindscapes of the Viking Age as symbols of fertility and prestige, key characters in the stories people told, and the subjects of artistic endeavours ranging from poetry to tapestry to inscription. This chapter explores the ways that horses played a role in magic practices and wider rituals at the intersection of these physical and conceptual spheres. Taking an interspecies approach to these rituals, it will pay particular attention to questions of personhood, participation, and agency, and comment on some gendered aspects of these acts. This chapter adopts an interdisciplinary approach, drawing on Viking Age poetry, iconography, and archaeological remains to explore the horse as both ritual object and subject, and asks whether the lines between horse as companion, and horse as ritual actor can be drawn so distinctly.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: history, Vikings, Viking Age, ritual
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
D History General and Old World > D History (General)
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D111 Medieval History
D History General and Old World > D History (General) > D901 Europe (General)
D History General and Old World > DL Northern Europe. Scandinavia
P Language and Literature > PT Germanic literature
S Agriculture > SF Animal culture
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Business & Applied Social Science > Department of Arts & Humanities
Depositing User: Keith Ruiter
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2022 08:57
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2023 13:11

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year