Session Title

Classical Deities in Medieval Northern European Contexts

Sponsoring Organization(s)

Polytheism-Oriented Medievalists of North America (P-OMoNA); Research Group on Manuscript Evidence

Organizer Name

Phillip A. Bernhardt-House

Organizer Affiliation

Skagit Valley College-Whidbey Island

Presider Name

Daniel Attrell

Presider Affiliation

Univ. of Waterloo

Paper Title 1

Ravens in the Meadhall: Pre-Christian Influences in the Hêliand

Presenter 1 Name

Galina Krasskova

Presenter 1 Affiliation

Fordham Univ.

Paper Title 2

Dionysos in the Northlands: The Cult of Dionysos in Early Medieval Europe

Presenter 2 Name

H. Jeremiah Lewis

Presenter 2 Affiliation

Independent Scholar

Paper Title 3

P.-O.M.o.N.A.: Where Have We Been, Where Are We Going? (A Response)

Presenter 3 Name

Phillip A. Bernhardt-House

Start Date

10-5-2019 1:30 PM

Session Location

Schneider 1120

Description

After the suppression of polytheistic religious activities in the fourth century CE, some sites and images — and certainly citations in literature — of the classical Greek and Roman (and occasionally other Mediterranean) deities had a "second life" in such places as Italy, Spain, Greece, and North Africa. However, even if imported and syncretistic cultus to these deities existed in more northern climes (including the former Roman provinces of Germania, Gaul, and Britain, the various Latin and vernacular literatures of the Germanic, French, British, and Irish peoples of medieval and later periods gave some of these deities a "third life", and often one rich in interpretative possibilities for the learned authors who discussed them.

Whether the authors derived their knowledge of these deities from various classical, biblical, or patristic sources, the influence specifically of Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, or their own reinterpretation of originally local practices, this tendency gave rise to many intriguing re-uses of the classical material.

Papers in this session will explore these themes and thereby work to contextualize these reinterpretations historically, politically, and theologically, as well as via other vectors of analysis. They also seek to catalogue and increase the visibility of these phenomena. Mildred Budny

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May 10th, 1:30 PM

Classical Deities in Medieval Northern European Contexts

Schneider 1120

After the suppression of polytheistic religious activities in the fourth century CE, some sites and images — and certainly citations in literature — of the classical Greek and Roman (and occasionally other Mediterranean) deities had a "second life" in such places as Italy, Spain, Greece, and North Africa. However, even if imported and syncretistic cultus to these deities existed in more northern climes (including the former Roman provinces of Germania, Gaul, and Britain, the various Latin and vernacular literatures of the Germanic, French, British, and Irish peoples of medieval and later periods gave some of these deities a "third life", and often one rich in interpretative possibilities for the learned authors who discussed them.

Whether the authors derived their knowledge of these deities from various classical, biblical, or patristic sources, the influence specifically of Isidore of Seville's Etymologiae, or their own reinterpretation of originally local practices, this tendency gave rise to many intriguing re-uses of the classical material.

Papers in this session will explore these themes and thereby work to contextualize these reinterpretations historically, politically, and theologically, as well as via other vectors of analysis. They also seek to catalogue and increase the visibility of these phenomena. Mildred Budny