chapter  10
12 Pages

Hypothesis II: Attila and the recasting of Scandinavian mythology

Ornamentation – Innovation – Migration: A hypothesis Like myths and epic poetry, animal ornamentation was transformed and transmitted down through the centuries lasting up until the consolidation of Christianity c. ad 1200 to c. 1250. Quite clearly, the animals and the belief systems they encapsulated were incompatible with the Christian faith and world view and therefore they disappeared when Christianity was fully established c. ad 1200. It is no coincidence that the Old Norse heritage was written down at this moment on Iceland, where it has been upheld by a more traditional society. The fact that the Old Norse texts share central mythological motifs with the early bracteates of the fifth and early sixth centuries is a testimony to the longue durée of oral tradition and Norse religion (Axboe 2007: 121). This conclusion has implications for our understanding of the historicity of Old Norse religion.