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Social and Cultural Anthropology

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Children Of A One-Eyed God: Impairment In The Myth And Memory Of Medieval Scandinavia, Michael David Lawson May 2019

Children Of A One-Eyed God: Impairment In The Myth And Memory Of Medieval Scandinavia, Michael David Lawson

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Using the lives of impaired individuals catalogued in the Íslendingasögur as a narrative framework, this study examines medieval Scandinavian social views regarding impairment from the ninth to the thirteenth century. Beginning with the myths and legends of the eddic poetry and prose of Iceland, it investigates impairment in Norse pre-Christian belief; demonstrating how myth and memory informed medieval conceptualizations of the body. This thesis counters scholarly assumptions that the impaired were universally marginalized across medieval Europe. It argues that bodily difference, in the Norse world, was only viewed as a limitation when it prevented an individual from fulfilling roles that ...