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Title: Intoxicating women : Old Norse drinking culture and the role of women
Author: Turberfield, Lisa
ISNI:       0000 0004 9353 6655
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2016
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This thesis examines Old Norse drinking culture in pre-Christian Scandinavia during the eighth and eleventh century, with a particular focus on women and their role within the production, consumption and safekeeping of alcohol. The discussion is based around an interdisciplinary analysis of textural, iconographic and archaeological material encompassing the modern areas of Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Iceland. After the initial introduction, the discussion is divided into four main sections. Chapter 2 addresses the production and availability of alcoholic drinks in Old Norse society, as well as the evidence for storage, serving and feasting equipment. Chapter 3 further examines the different settings of alcohol consumption, the role of women and the importance of feasts within pre-Christian Scandinavian. Chapter 4 focuses on Old Norse mythology, in particular the drinking culture of the gods (ON æsir) and the importance of female supernatural beings as servers and providers of alcohol. Finally, Chapter 5 discusses to the complex symbolism of ritualistic drinking practices within pre-Christian Scandinavia, such as the drinking ritual within the hall society or seasonal, sacrificial and commemorative feasts. Within these often predominantly male 'drinking-events', the discussion will focus on a number of powerful, high status women who played a key role during these highly ritualised drinking ceremonies. With alcohol playing such an important role within feasting, diet, mythology and political alliances the analysis of a range of texts and materials (archaeological and onomastic) will add to our understanding of pre-Christian Scandinavian drinking culture and the essential role women performed within this complex social phenomenon.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Drinking of alcoholic beverages ; Drinking customs ; Women ; Sexual division of labor