Contacts and Networks in the Baltic Sea Region
Contacts and Networks in the Baltic Sea Region
Austmarr as a northern mare nostrum, ca. 500-1500 AD
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Preface Contributors Introduction: Looking across the Baltic Sea and over linguistic fences Frog, Kendra Willson, and Maths Bertell Section 1: Mental maps Chapter 1. The northern part of the Ocean in the eyes of ancient geographers Aleksandr Podossinov Chapter 2. Austmarr on the mental map of medieval Scandinavians Tatjana Jackson Chapter 3. The connection between geographical space and collective memory in Jómsvíkinga saga Sirpa Aalto Section 2: Mobility Chapter 4. Rune carvers traversing Austmarr? Laila Kitzler Åhfeldt Chapter 5. Polish noble families and noblemen of Scandinavian origin in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. The case of the Awdancy family: by which route did they come to Poland and why? Leszek Slupecki Chapter 6. A medieval trade in female slaves from the north along the Volga Jukka Korpela Section 3: Language Chapter 7. Ahti on the Nydam strap-ring? On the possibility of Finnic elements in runic inscriptions Kendra Willson Chapter 8. Low German and Finnish revisited Mikko Bentlin Section 4: Mythology and religion formations Chapter 9. Mythic logic and meta-discursive practice in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions Lauri Harvilahti Chapter 10. The artificial maiden on both sides of the Gulf of Finland: The Golden Maiden in Finno-Karelian and Estonian folk poetry Karolina Kouvola Chapter 11. Local Sámi bear ceremonialism in a Circum-Baltic perspective Maths Bertell Chapter 12. Mythologies in transformation: Symbolic transfer, hybridization, and creolization in the Circum-Baltic arena (illustrated through the changing roles of *Tiwaz, *Ilma, and Ô¿inn, the fishing adventure of the Thunder-God, and a Finno-Karelian creolization of North Germanic religion) Frog Index of persons Index of places General index

Recensies en Artikelen

"For far too long the study of the Baltic Sea has been divided along modern geopolitical borders that center on single cultures, languages, and ethnicities. This edited volume [...] overcomes such linguistic and nationalistic barriers to present an integrated approach to the contacts and networks of the Circum-Baltic region. The result is a truly interdisciplinary volume that features approachable and accessible texts in English on language, mythology, and religious practice. [...] Its individual chapter case-studies work in favor of the book's scope on the Baltic as comprised of diverse cultures, languages, and ethnic groups to ultimately demote unidirectional or unilateral models of interpretation. Contacts and Networks in the Baltic Sea Region proves that there cannot be an overarching, singular narrative of the Baltic."
- Laura Tillery, The Medieval Review, 21.09.27 (2021)

Contacts and Networks in the Baltic Sea Region

Austmarr as a northern mare nostrum, ca. 500-1500 AD

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
Since prehistoric times, the Baltic Sea has functioned as a northern mare nostrum — a crucial nexus that has shaped the languages, folklore, religions, literature, technology, and identities of the Germanic, Finnic, Sámi, Baltic, and Slavic peoples. This anthology explores the networks among those peoples. The contributions to Contacts and Networks in the Baltic Sea Region: Austmarr as a Northern mare nostrum, ca. 500-1500 ad address different aspects of cultural contacts around and across the Baltic from the perspectives of history, archaeology, linguistics, literary studies, religious studies, and folklore. The introduction offers a general overview of crosscultural contacts in the Baltic Sea region as a framework for contextualizing the volume’s twelve chapters, organized in four sections. The first section concerns geographical conceptions as revealed in Old Norse and in classical texts through place names, terms of direction, and geographical descriptions. The second section discusses the movement of cultural goods and persons in connection with elite mobility, the slave trade, and rune-carving practice. The third section turns to the history of language contacts and influences, using examples of Finnic names in runic inscriptions and Low German loanwords in Finnish. The final section analyzes intercultural connections related to mythology and religion spanning Baltic, Finnic, Germanic, and Sámi cultures. Together these diverse articles present a dynamic picture of this distinctive part of the world.
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Maths Bertell

Maths Bertell is university lecturer in religious studies at Mid-Sweden University. He has written on Norse pre-Christian and Sámi religions and conversion in the Nordic area.


Frog is an Academy of Finland Research Fellow in folklore studies at the University of Helsinki, Finland. He has published widely on poetry and mythology in Finnic and Old Norse cultures.

Kendra Willson

Kendra Willson is a researcher in Nordic languages at the University of Turku in Finland. She works on a range of topics relating to Old Norse-Icelandic and Finnic historical linguistics and onomastics.