The study of Old Norse religion is a truly multidisciplinary and international field of research. The rituals, myths, and narratives of pre-Christian Scandinavia have been studied and interpreted in detail by a vast number of scholars. They have long relied on the rich and varied Christian Icelandic literature from the Middle Ages, but a growing body of material culture from pagan Scandinavia has recently started to have an impact on current research.
In Tracing Old Norse Cosmology, Anders Andrén argues that the fundamental ideas of an ordered universe and notions of time and space in Old Norse religion can be studied in a dialogue between archaeology and the Icelandic narrative tradition. Ideas about the world tree, middle earth, and the sun can be traced in images and material culture from different parts of Scandinavian prehistory.
By combining these prehistoric representations with the later written record, Andrén offers a long view on Old Norse cosmology, including the periods of fundamental change. This fascinating and nuanced study is essential reading for all researchers in the field—archaeologists, art historians, and scholars of literature and religion—as well as anyone with an interest in Old Norse history.
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