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De guldglänsande ryttarna : C-brakteaternas ikonografi i ny belysning

Adetorp, Johan LU (2008)
Abstract
The gold-bracteates from the migration period are circular medallion like objects with a diameter of about 5 cm. The production began at approximately AD 450 and came to an end at about AD 550. Thus the bracteates were in use for a period of a hundred years. This dissertation focuses on the iconography of the so called C-bracteates. The motifs of the C-bracteates depicts a human head over four legged animals, both in profile. In addition there are often some kinds of ideograms. Instead of using Old Norse texts to interpret the motifs, I have analysed the imagery of the bracteates against a background of Celtic religion and worldview.



One theoretical basis of the thesis is that the imagery of southern Scandinavia from the... (More)
The gold-bracteates from the migration period are circular medallion like objects with a diameter of about 5 cm. The production began at approximately AD 450 and came to an end at about AD 550. Thus the bracteates were in use for a period of a hundred years. This dissertation focuses on the iconography of the so called C-bracteates. The motifs of the C-bracteates depicts a human head over four legged animals, both in profile. In addition there are often some kinds of ideograms. Instead of using Old Norse texts to interpret the motifs, I have analysed the imagery of the bracteates against a background of Celtic religion and worldview.



One theoretical basis of the thesis is that the imagery of southern Scandinavia from the migration period may be analysed against the background of Celtic iconography. One of the reasons why Celtic imagery may be used is that Celts and Germans probably had so much in common that it would have been difficult to tell them apart. Lately the divergence of Celts and Germans has been questioned. I share the opinion of those researchers who believe that the differences between these cultures have most likely been exaggerated.



My intention is to study bracteates’ iconography without using written mythology either Celtic or Old Norse. Hence it is not reasonable to expect a particular name for the bracteate-riders. On the other hand it is possible to examine some Celtic gods that may have resembled the beings on the C-bracteates, but I do not mean that the riders on the bracteates depict Celtic divinities. My conclusion is that if the meanings of ideograms, the fauna, and the riders are put together a reinforced sun symbolism with connotations of abundance and fertility will appear. However the pictorial motifs also express a symbolism of death and underworld. These may seem incompatible with each other, but in Celtic religion these themes are closely linked together and both may be seen on the iconography of the C-bractreates. (Less)
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author
supervisor
opponent
  • Prof em. Hultgård, Anders, Uppsala universitet, teologiska institutionen, religionshistoriska avd.
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Germanic religion, Old Norse, Celtic religion, iconology, Iconography, Gold bracteate, Migration period
pages
265 pages
publisher
Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap, Lunds universitet
defense location
Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap, Allhelgona Kyrkogata 8, sal 118
defense date
2008-05-10 10:15
ISBN
978-91-977212-2-6
language
Swedish
LU publication?
yes
id
ab367bb6-480f-4b5d-83d6-8036dade402a (old id 1056518)
date added to LUP
2008-04-16 13:38:31
date last changed
2016-09-19 08:45:10
@phdthesis{ab367bb6-480f-4b5d-83d6-8036dade402a,
  abstract     = {The gold-bracteates from the migration period are circular medallion like objects with a diameter of about 5 cm. The production began at approximately AD 450 and came to an end at about AD 550. Thus the bracteates were in use for a period of a hundred years. This dissertation focuses on the iconography of the so called C-bracteates. The motifs of the C-bracteates depicts a human head over four legged animals, both in profile. In addition there are often some kinds of ideograms. Instead of using Old Norse texts to interpret the motifs, I have analysed the imagery of the bracteates against a background of Celtic religion and worldview.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
One theoretical basis of the thesis is that the imagery of southern Scandinavia from the migration period may be analysed against the background of Celtic iconography. One of the reasons why Celtic imagery may be used is that Celts and Germans probably had so much in common that it would have been difficult to tell them apart. Lately the divergence of Celts and Germans has been questioned. I share the opinion of those researchers who believe that the differences between these cultures have most likely been exaggerated.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
My intention is to study bracteates’ iconography without using written mythology either Celtic or Old Norse. Hence it is not reasonable to expect a particular name for the bracteate-riders. On the other hand it is possible to examine some Celtic gods that may have resembled the beings on the C-bracteates, but I do not mean that the riders on the bracteates depict Celtic divinities. My conclusion is that if the meanings of ideograms, the fauna, and the riders are put together a reinforced sun symbolism with connotations of abundance and fertility will appear. However the pictorial motifs also express a symbolism of death and underworld. These may seem incompatible with each other, but in Celtic religion these themes are closely linked together and both may be seen on the iconography of the C-bractreates.},
  author       = {Adetorp, Johan},
  isbn         = {978-91-977212-2-6},
  keyword      = {Germanic religion,Old Norse,Celtic religion,iconology,Iconography,Gold bracteate,Migration period},
  language     = {swe},
  pages        = {265},
  publisher    = {Centrum för teologi och religionsvetenskap, Lunds universitet},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {De guldglänsande ryttarna : C-brakteaternas ikonografi i ny belysning},
  year         = {2008},
}