The English contribution to the emergence of manuscript culture in eleventh-century Norway and Sweden

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis focuses on evidence for the influence of England in the emergence of a manuscript culture in eleventh-century Norway and Sweden through consideration of the fragments of manuscripts surviving in archives in Scandinavia. These are fragments of Latin liturgical manuscripts and this study into manuscript culture is therefore concerned with evidence for the use and production of liturgical manuscripts in eleventh-century Norway and Sweden and for the role of England in that process. The use and production of such manuscripts involves a wider framework: the performance of the liturgy, introduction of Latin writing and the training of scribes and the growth of teaching more generally. The phrase ‘manuscript culture’ is used to encapsulate all of these processes. The corpus of manuscript fragments poses a number of methodological challenges and palaeographical, codicological and historical sources for manuscript culture are few. As a result, this thesis has utilised a range of tools and approaches: the manuscript fragments have been digitally represented in an online database, ScandiPal, which has been specially designed for this project. ScandiPal’s innovative organisation and presentation of codicological and palaeographical information is explained and used as the basis of a number of detailed analyses of the fragments, which are presented in a series of case studies. In order to support palaeographical examination of the fragments, this thesis also explores their historical contexts, bringing together the evidence of runestones, skaldic verse, Latin histories and manuscripts to examine the networks through which manuscript culture may have been transmitted across the North Sea. This thesis thus draws on a diverse range of approaches, skills, topics and perspectives in order to shed light on the influence of contacts with England on the emergence of a manuscript culture in eleventh-century Norway and Sweden.
Date of Award1 May 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • King's College London
SupervisorPeter Stokes (Supervisor) & Willard McCarty (Supervisor)

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