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Title: Nornir in Old Norse mythology
Author: Bek-Pedersen, Karen
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2008
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The primary object of the thesis is to discuss a particular group of female supernatural beings called ‘nornir’ and their relationship to the Old Norse concept of fate. Although well-known and often mentioned in scholarship dealing with Old Norse culture, these beings are all too often dealt with in overly superficial ways. The research presented in the thesis seeks to go much deeper in order to properly understand the nature and role of ‘nornir’ in the Old Norse world view, and the conclusions reached importantly overturn a number of stereotypical conceptions that have long dominated our understanding of ‘nornir’. The discussion of these beings falls into four main chapters: a discussion of the similarities and differences between ‘nornir’ and several other kinds of female supernatural beings; a discussion of certain symbolic aspects relating the dwelling place of the ‘nornir’ to their strongly feminine nature; a discussion of the well-established image in which fate is represented through different kinds of textile work, and the problems that surround this metaphor in the Old Norse sources; and a discussion of the Old Norse vocabulary relating to fate and the quasi-legal aspects of the ‘nornir’. The thesis focuses on Old Norse culture and uses predominantly Old Norse source material. Comparative material, especially Celtic, Anglo-Saxon and Classical, is, however, employed when this is thought to be relevant.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available