Honors Senior Theses/Projects

Date of Award

Spring 2021

Exit Requirement

Undergraduate Honors Thesis/Project

Department

Honors Program

Faculty Advisor

Dr. Elizabeth Swedo

Honors Program Director

Dr. Gavin Keulks

Abstract

The Viking Age lasted from approximately the 8th century CE to the 11th century CE, and throughout this period Norse people raided, traded, settled, farmed, and came to political power in the British Isles. Due to Norse culture being predominantly oral rather than written, there is limited documentation of early Norse activities by the Norse themselves. For most of this period, surviving records about Norse activity in Britain come from the Anglo-Saxons. Because a lot of early Norse interactions in the British Isles were raids on Christian monasteries, these Anglo-Saxon accounts painted the Norse as merciless murderers who wanted to punish Christians. However, this perception of Norse intent was inherently distorted and was clouded by misconceptions. As Norse people began to settle in Britain, these interactions fundamentally changed, and emerged from this continued contact was new conceptions of Anglo-Saxon and Norse identity. This research project explores the changes in Anglo- Saxon perceptions of identity as they confronted Norse identity through continued interactions with them.

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