Fire, Water, Heaven and Earth

Fire, Water, Heaven and Earth: Ritual Practice and Cosmology in Ancient Scandinavia - An Indo-European Perspective

English | 2007 | ISBN: 9172094508 | PDF | 220 Pages | 77.2 mb


Archaeological excavations of prehistoric Scandinavian graves and ritual sites often reveal seemingly enigmatic and contradictory features. Interpretation from a comparative Indo-European perspective allows a partly new approach to material which at first sight seems fragmentary and anonymous. The interpretations in this book proceed from cosmological beliefs occurring in various Indo-European traditions. The author discusses mortuary practices and votive customs in ancient Scandinavian tradition in a long-term perspective, with a comparative Indo-European approach.
Table of Contents
Introduction; Religion as a force in the creation of culture - a revived research field; The significance of terminology for interpretation; Analogies and phenomenology; The Indo-European context - problems and possibilities; The Vedic analogy - an introduction; The source material and the ancient Scandinavian conceptual world; Cosmology and ritual practice; Grave monuments and sacrificial altars - kindred ritual implements; The cremation ritual and the ideas behind it; Traces of Scandinavian fire sacrifice; Fire sacrifice rituals and the elements; Death and grinding - the annihilation of the body; Ritual dismemberment and deposition; Everyday life and ritual - different expressions of the same cosmology; Rock and stone as a medium and a cultic implement; Aspects of the dead as mythical beings; References.

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