Youth and Age in the Medieval North


Following from themes explored during the 2005 International Medieval Congress on ‘Youth and Age’, this interdisciplinary volume focuses upon social, cultural and biological aspects of being young and old in the medieval north. The contributors progress definitions of young and old in the north, taking into account changing mentalities as a result of political and cultural transformations such as the Christianisation of the north. This book invites discourse on youth and age amongst medieval archaeologists, historians, and philologists, while introducing particularities of medieval research to sociologists and gerontologists working within other periods and areas. The contributors, representing both established and up-and-coming scholars in the field, showcase the diverse issues that surround interdisciplinary studies of youth and age.
Contributors are Christina Lee, Lotta Mejsholm, Berit J. Sellevold, Anna Hansen, Bernadine McCreesh, Joanna A. Skórzewska, Nic Percivall, Carolyne Larrington, Philadelphia Ricketts, Jordi Sánchez-Martí, Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, Shannon Lewis-Simpson, Ármann Jakobsson, and Yelena Sesselja Helgadóttir Yershova
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EUR €137.00USD $182.00

Biographical Note

Shannon Lewis-Simpson, Ph.D. (2005) in Early Medieval Studies, University of York, teaches at Memorial University, St. John's, Newfoundland. She researches aspects of cultural identity and interaction in the Viking-Age North Atlantic.

Table of contents

Notes on Contributors ... vii

The Challenges of Quantifying Youth and Age in the Medieval North ... 1
Shannon Lewis-Simpson
Forever Young: Child Burial in Anglo-Saxon England ... 17
Christina Lee
Constructions of Early Childhood at the Syncretic Cemetery of Fjälkinge—a Case Study ... 37
Lotta Mejsholm
Child Burials and Children’s Status in Medieval Norway ... 57
Berit J. Sellevold
Fosterage and Dependency in Medieval Iceland and its Signifi cance in Gísla saga ... 73
Anna Hansen
The Birth, Childhood and Adolescence of the Early Icelandic Bishops ... 87
Bernadine McCreesh
‘Sveinn einn ungr fell í sýruker’: Medieval Icelandic Children in Vernacular Miracle Stories ... 103
Joanna A. Skórzewska
Teenage Angst: The Structures and Boundaries of Adolescence in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Iceland ... 127
Nic Percivall
Awkward Adolescents: Male Maturation in Norse Literature ... 151
Carolyne Larrington
‘Spoiling them Rotten?’: Grandmothers and Familial Identity in Twelfth- and Thirteenth-Century Iceland ... 167
Philadelphia Ricketts
Age Matters in Old English Literature ... 205
Jordi Sánchez-Martí
Becoming ‘Old’, Ageism and Taking Care of the Elderly in Iceland c. 900–1300 ... 227
Jón Viðar Sigurðsson
Old Age in Viking-Age Britain ... 243
Shannon Lewis-Simpson
The Patriarch: Myth and Reality ... 265
Ármann Jakobsson
Egill Skalla-Grímsson: a Viking Poet as a Child and an Old Man
Yelena Sesselja Helgadóttir Yershova

Index ... 305


The book should find a natural audience in scholars of early medieval studies, especially Anglo-Saxon and Viking Studies. It is hoped that the volume will introduce particularities of medieval research to sociologists and gerontologists working within other periods and areas.


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