Monthly Archives: October 2013

Cloisters and Culture in Iceland and the North 
in the Middle Ages

Elizabeth Walgenbach

Clerical Immunities in Icelandic Context

Fimmtudaginn 31. október 2013 kl. 16.30
Árnagarði 423

Johanna Olafsdottir
Elizabeth Walgenbach

This talk focuses on medieval cloisters in Iceland, and the clerics in them, from the perspective of legal history. I will concentrate on two interrelated issues: the legal protections against violence enjoyed by all clerics under canon law and the related protection of sanctuary within churches. In theory, by the high middle ages all clerics enjoyed legal protections from violence under canon law. One incurred automatic excommunication for assaulting a cleric. Moreover, all churches in the Christian west, again at least in theory, in addition to being spaces where bloodshed was strictly prohibited, provided sanctuary for accused criminals to seek refuge from secular justice and its punishments.

My lecture will examine some of the ways that we can see these rules being expressed (and flouted) in specific cases in Iceland, especially in the context of Icelandic monastic foundations. It will also provide an assessment of the evidence for the practice of sanctuary in Icelandic monasteries and churches in the medieval period. I will concentrate on the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, connecting this evidence with more general trends and developments in canon law.

Elizabeth Walgenbach is a Ph.D. candidate in Medieval Studies at Yale University. Her dissertation “Forms of Community Exclusion in Medieval Iceland” focuses on excommunication and outlawry in Icelandic legal and literary sources. More broadly, her research concentrates on canon law in Scandinavia.
.

Cloisters and Culture in Iceland and the North 
in the Middle Ages

Fyrirlestri frestað

Áður auglýstum fyrirlestri Sverris Jakobssonar verður að fresta vegna veikinda. Nýr tími auglýstur síðar.

17. október 2013 — frestað; nýr tími auglýstur síðar

Sverrir Jakobsson

Frá Helgafellsklaustri til Stapaumboðs: Góss í íslensku og breiðfirsku samhengi

Sverrir Jakobsson

Flestar rannsóknir á eignarhaldi og stéttaskiptingu á Íslandi hafa beinst að því að skoða landið í heild og draga af því almennar niðurstöður. Með því glatast hins vegar vitund um héraðsbundinn mun. Hins vegar er ástæða til að rannsaka betur ólík form eignarhalds og atvinnuhátta á milli landsvæða. Einnig gefa staðbundnar rannsóknir möguleika á að fylgjast betur með þróun í einstökum héruðum þó að heimildir skorti um önnur héruð á sama tíma. Við Breiðafjörð var gósseign í vexti á 14. öld og í heimildum sést glögglega að einstaklingar og staðir á borð við Helgafellsklaustur leituðust við að koma sér upp safni jarðeigna á afmörkuðum svæði. Gósseign Helgafellsklausturs myndaðist þannig tiltölulega hratt á fáeinum áratugum skömmu eftir miðja 14. öld. Á 15. öld varð svo enn meiri samþjöppun jarðeigna og höfðingjar áttu þá miklar jarðeignir í mörgum héruðum. Til varð stétt landeigenda sem hafði iðulega allt landið undir og ríkti sú efnahagsskipan án mikilla breytinga fram á 18. öld. Mikil staðbundin jarðeign Helgafellsklausturs er hins vegar leif frá þróun 14. aldar þar sem eignir klaustursins voru mjög samþjappaðar á Snæfellsnesi. Á 16. öld urðu þessar eignir að Stapaumboði en höfðingjar gátu nýtt sér forræði yfir því til að öðlast sterka héraðsbundna stöðu við Breiðafjörðinn. Í fyrirlestrinum verður rætt hvaða máli eignir Helgafellsklausturs skiptu fyrir gang siðaskiptanna við Breiðafjörð og hvort tilvist Stapaumboðs á síðari öldum hafi mótast af þessum uppruna.

Sverrir Jakobsson er lektor í miðaldasögu við Háskóla Íslands. Hann hefur m.a. rannsakað heimsmynd og íslenskt þjóðerni, friðarviðleitni kirkjunnar og valdamiðstöðvar, m.a. í Breiðafirði.

Cloisters and Culture in Iceland and the North 
in the Middle Ages

Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir

Animal bone evidence and life in Icelandic monasteries

Thursday October 3, 2013, at 16.30
Árnagarður 423

Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir 1
Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir

Animal bones have been identified in the archaeological excavations of monasteries at Skriðuklaustur, Kirkjubæjarklaustur and Viðey in Iceland. What can animal bones tell us about life in these monasteries, their financial status and religious practices? Are there differences between these monasteries as far as their bone assemblages are concerned? Is there anything comparable when bone assemblages from contemporary European monasteries are looked to? How are these monastic bone assemblages distinct from those found in excavations of typical Icelandic farm sites? There are various indications that specialised handiwork (bone carving, manuscript production, textile production) took place at these monasteries and evidence for this can be found in the animal bone assemblages. All monasteries used the wealth of the sea in various ways and fishbones, seal- and whale-bones and the bones of sea-birds have been uncovered during excavations at each of the three monasteries. The main results regarding animal bone investigations at Icelandic monasteries and what the bones can tell us about the daily lives of the monastic inhabitants will be presented in this lecture.

Albína Hulda Pálsdóttir is employed as a zooarchaeologist at the Auðlindadeild Landbúnaðarháskóla Íslands (Faculty of Animal and Land Resources, Agricultural University of Iceland) and works on the origins of Icelandic livestock farming within the fields of zooarchaeology and DNA research.

(NB this lecture will be presented in Icelandic)