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West over sea - Norse ascendency in Orkney and Shetland

Seminar in Kirkwall, Orkney; 7.30pm on 25 June 2012
When Jun 25, 2012
from 07:30 PM to 08:30 PM
Where Orkney College UHI, Kirkwall
Contact Name Dr Ragnhild Ljosland
Contact Phone 01856 569302
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West over sea - Norse ascendency in Orkney and Shetland with a glance at the medieval runic inscriptions from Bryggen in Bergen

Prof Michael Schulte, Volda University College, Norway

This talk will deal with cultural contacts between Orkney / Shetland and Western Norway, particularly Bergen. How did Norwegian-Orkney/Shetland interrelations develop over time?   Prof Schulte will sketch a picture of everyday mercantile life in medieval Bergen, where the Hanseatic League played a prominent role. Several examples from the Bryggen Runic inscriptions 1150-1350 will illustrate the diversity of activities and contacts, ranging from political missives indicating treason and shifting alliances via trade notes to practical transient messages and prayers as well as sexual obscenities. He will also focus on the Maeshowe inscriptions as part of Norwegian ascendency in Orkney and Shetland.

Short biography

Michael Schulte, prof. dr., studied Scandinavian and Germanic philology at the University of Bonn, Germany and Reykjavík, Iceland. His particular research interests are runology, Nordic language history, writing systems within a broad comparative framework, literacy, and more recently, skaldic poetry in a cognitive perspective. Prof Schulte is part of a Norwegian group of scholars writing a new language history of Norwegian in four volumes. He is a member of The Royal Gustav Adolf´s Academy in Uppsala, Sweden and The Royal Norwegian Academy of Science in Trondheim, Norway.
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