Pre-Modern Seminar No 31: Eike Schnall
On Monday March 24th Dr Jens Eike Schnall from the University of Bergen will give a talk called:
“Marvels of the Sea: Learned Traditions and Critical Thinking from Medieval to Early Modern Times.”
The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
Eike has sent us a short presentation of the lecture:
“Tales of the unheard-of, the wondrous or the fantastic as found e.g. in oral reports, the sagas, or Old Norse scientific literature were a challenge to their medieval recipients: what attitude towards them should they take? Reject them as purely fictional? Consider them to be at least possibly true? Or let the decision whether to believe or reject them depend on the witness of authorities? Various knowledge of nature including descriptions of natural wonders relies on traditions from antiquity, and has also been passed on by the learned from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Times. But also own observations or the knowledge of specialists could become part of the learned tradition, as e.g. in the Old Norwegian Kings’ Mirror of the mid thirteenth century or Conrad Gessner’s Piscium & aquatilium animantium natura (1558). The paper focuses on attitudes towards and reflections of the above named questions with regard to whales and (other) sea monsters.”
Jens Eike Schnall is Associate Professor of Old Norse philology at the University of Bergen, Norway. His main field of specialisation is Old Norse literature as a part of European medieval literature.
Everybody is welcome!