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Mobility During the Viking Age: Scandinavians and Others
September 27, 2018 @ 11:00 am EDT
Tübingen, 7274 Germany
Sponsored by: University of Tübingen
Voyages to and settlement in new lands have always held the greatest interest for those looking to understand the Vikings in academia and pop culture, from studies of the English Danelaw to Led Zeppelin. In recent years, though, scholars have focussed more than ever on concepts of migration, mobility, and diaspora when looking at the Norsemen. The time is ripe for a comparative perspective to be brought to bear on Viking activities from this point of view.
Viking activity, across the period between the late eighth and mid-eleventh centuries, has several well-known aspects. Vikings attacked and burned settlements; they were found as traders everywhere between Limerick and Samarkand; they settled and farmed the land; and individuals such as Rollo of Normandy and Roric of Dorestad took up service with non-Scandinavian rulers. But what made these aspects of Viking mobility distinctive? Magyars in Bavaria, Provençal noblemen in Burgundy, Catalans in the Spanish March, and defectors on the Arab-Byzantine border all share some of these characteristics. By putting Vikings in this wider frame of mobility and migration across earlier medieval Europe, we hope to contribute to debates about what was particularly Viking, and what was more universal. We will focus on four broad topics:
- Individual mobility
- Group mobility
The Centre for Advanced Studies at the University of Tübingen brings together scholars from a wide range of disciplines working on the history of migration and mobility in Europe and the Mediterranean between 250 and 900 CE. Migration and mobility fundamentally shaped this period. By raising new questions and exploring innovative approaches and methods for answering them, the Centre aims to set the scholarly debate of the phenomenon on a new footing.
This conference is organised by Dr. Anna Kouremenos and Dr. Fraser McNair.