Between the Islands: Interaction with Vikings in Ireland and Britain in the Early Medieval Period

13 March 2009 - 15 March 2009

Faculty of English

On-line conference registration has now closed; if you wish to check whether any places have become available, please contact Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh.

Convenors:
Máire Ní Mhaonaigh
Fiona Edmonds

 

Bearnán Conaill, the bell of St Conall of Inishkeel
© Trustees of the British Museum

‘Between the Islands’ seeks to illuminate the nature of interaction between Vikings and the peoples of Ireland and Britain in the early medieval period. The title alludes to the underlying significance of sea currents for these relations, as well as signalling a focus on what has come to be known as the Insular Viking zone. Our primary concern is what Vikings did when they went abroad; how their activities shaped the insular cultures of which they became an integral part and to what extent they were transformed themselves in the process. Our starting point is the ninth century when Vikings began to settle in what were to become their adopted homelands; we follow the progress of their integration down to the twelfth century by which time a considerable blurring of boundaries had occurred. Our focus will be precisely on those boundaries, upon the fertile interstices in which cultural transference most easily occurs. Our canvas is a broad insular landscape at a period during which it was truly transformed.


To enable us to view that transformation in the brightest possible light we aim to provide a wide arc, by bringing scholars of various disciplines together who are engaged in specialised research. We shall concentrate on specific areas of that canvas, rather than surveying it in its entirety. To this end, 45-minute sessions (10–15-minute presentation of a pre-circulated paper, followed by c.30 minutes of discussion) will provide detailed investigations of specific aspects of cultural interaction based on up-to-date, cutting edge research. Our succession of well-chosen topics drawn from different disciplines, and from various regions and time periods, will when taken together form a series of overlapping vignettes which will put our understanding of relations between these peoples on a more solid footing.

The conference will be hosted by the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic.


For administrative enquiries please contact mm405@cam.ac.uk.

Between the Islands: Interaction with Vikings in Ireland and Britain in the Early Medieval Period

Programme

Location : Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic

 Date: 13-15 March 2009

 


On Thursday 12 March the conference is preceded by the Department of Anglo-Saxon Norse, and Celtic's Annual Chadwick Lecture to be delivered by Professor Richard Sharpe (Faculty of History University of Oxford) at 17.00.


Friday 13 March

 


8.30-9.00

Registration

9.00-9.15 

Official opening by Professor Simon Franklin, Department of Slavonic Studies and Chairman of the School of Arts and Humanities, University of Cambridge 

9.15-10.00 

 

 

10.00-10.45 

 

Panel 1: Vikings Abroad

Dr Clare Downham, Department of Celtic, University of Aberdeen
Political interaction between Vikings and Irish: the location of Viking camps


 Dr Colmán Etchingham, Department of History, National University of Ireland, Maynooth
The Sea Stallion of Glendalough; the significance of ‘Skuldelev 2’ in the development of Viking ship technology

 

10.45-11.15

Tea/coffee Break

 

11.15-12.00

 

12.00-12.45 

Panel 2: The Literary Tradition

Dr Ralph O’Connor, Department of History, University of Aberdeen
Transforming tradition: lustful stepmothers in insular narrative  

Professor Jan-Erik Rekdal, Institute for Linguistics and Nordic Studies, University of Oslo
Fianna bátar i nEmain and Ynglingatal revisited


12.45-14.00

Lunch 

 

14.00-14.45

 

14.45-15.30 

Panel 3: Maritime Contacts

Professor John Hines,  School of History and Archaeology, University of Cardiff
The Development of Navigation in and around the Bristol Channel, 9th to 11th Centuries 

Professor Judith Jesch, School of English, University of Nottingham
From the Minch to Man: Norse poetry and the Hebrides

 

 


15.30-16.00

Tea/coffee Break 

 

16.00-16.45

 


Panel 4: Gaelic-Scandinavian Relations

Dr Fiona Edmonds, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge
Hiberno-Scandinavian influence east of the Pennines

16.45-17.30

Dr David Griffiths, Department of Continuing Education, University of Oxford
Landscape, symbolism and identity around the Viking-Age Irish Sea

 

 

Saturday 14 March

 

9.15-10.00


Panel 3: Orkney

Dr James Barrett,  McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge
Power, conversion and the Viking-Age diaspora: Orkney in its insular context

10.00-10.45 

Professor Russell Poole, Department of English, University of Western Ontario, Canada Irish elements in the ideology of the early Orkney earldom

 

10.45-11.15

Tea/coffee Break

 

11.15-12.00

 

12.00-12.45 



 

Panel 6: Runes

Professor Terje Spurkland, Institute for Linguistics and Nordic Studies, University of Oslo
Rune stones in an Anglo-Saxon-Norse and Norse-Celtic perspective 

Dr Cathy Swift, Director of Irish Studies, Mary Immaculate College of Education, Limerick The riddle of the runes: Ogam Lochlannach and Gallogam

12.45-14.00

Lunch


 

14.00-14.45

 

14.45-15.30 

Panel 7: Comparing Old Norse and Medieval Irish Literatures

Mr Michael Chesnutt, Rome
Caoilte in Iceland – Gaelic folklore in Egils saga Skallagrímssonar

Professor Rudolf Simek, Institute for Germanic and Scandinavian Studies, University of Bonn, Germany
An Irish princess in Norway and her German 0rigins

15.30-16.00

Tea/coffee Break 

16.00-16.30

 

16.45-17.30 

Round Table Discussion

Based on the paper of Professor Erich Poppe, Department of Comparative Linguistics and Celtic Studies, University of Marburg, Germany: The Insular versions of Dares's "De excidio Troiae historia: some similarities and some differences





Sunday 15 March

 

10.45-10.45

Panel 8: Numismatics 

Dr Mark A.S. Blackburn, Fitzwilliam Museum, University of Cambridge
The impact of the Vikings on monetary circulation in Ireland and Britain

 

10.45-11.15

Tea/coffee Break

11.15-12.00

 

 

12.00-12.45 

Panel 9: The Twelfth Century and Beyond

Dr Ian Beuermann, Norwegian Academy of Sciences and Letters, Centre for Advanced Studies, Oslo
Dynasty, túath and God’s grace: Manx kingship in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries

Dr Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse, and Celtic, University of Cambridge
Across the divide: the transformation of 'Vikings' in twelfth and thirteenth-century literary texts


12.45-14.00

Lunch 

 

14.00- 14.45

 

14.45-15.30 

 

Concluding Session

Professor Jón Vidar Sigurdsson,  Department of Archaeology, Conservation and History, University of Oslo
The View from the North 

Thomas Charles-Edwards,  Jesus College, Oxford
The View from the West


 

Other Events 

Viking Coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum: Dr Mark Blackburn has offered to show elements of the collection of Viking coins in the Fitzwilliam Museum to delegates on Thursday, March 12th at 3pm and on Monday, March 16th at 11am. If you would like to join either of the tours, please contact Dr Blackburn directly at mab1001@cam.ac.uk.


Dr Debby Banham will take delegates on a walking tour of Anglo-Saxon and medieval Cambridge on Sunday, March 15th, leaving the Faculty of English, 9 West Road after the conference proceedings have finished. If you would like to join this tour, please let one of the organisers or student helpers know.


Conference Dinner

For those who have registered for the conference dinner, it will be held in the Wordsworth Room, St John’s College, on Saturday, March 11th, at 19.00 for 19.30 (dinner).