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Old Norse literature: Healing and Obstetrics
Category Education
Start date 11.08.2018   05:00 PM Address / City: 1313 Sterling Hall, 475 N Charter St. Madison
End date 11.08.2018   06:00 PM Location WI, US
Runes to Release the Child from the Mother: Healing and Obstetrics in Medieval Northern Europe
Dr. Verena Hoefig from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

What is known about birth and midwifery in the pagan North? This presentation will discuss the role of female goddesses and beings, especially of Freyja, Frigg, Odin and the Aesir, for fertility, birth and obstetric practices.

On a more general level, the talk will explore to what extent Old Norse literature either directly addresses or tiptoes around topics such as birth and healing, which were essential for the lives of medieval women and men. This vantage point highlights the audience, function, and potential memory gaps of a variety of texts, including Snorri Sturluson's Edda and the lays collected in the so-called Poetic Edda. It will include a discussion of runic inscriptions devoted to obstetrics and women's medicine, and an Old High German healing charm.
Organizer University of Wisconsin-Madison Email
Phone 608-262-2192 URL https://gns.wisc.edu