Viking Warrior Mwentality - Nordsforsk project

How to Make a Viking Warrior?

Making a Warrior: the Social Implications of Viking Age Martial Ideologies” is the title of a new research project, which was recently granted substantial funding from Nordforsk. Partners are the Universities in Oslo, Copenhagen, Uppsala, and Reykjavik.

Archaeologist Marianne Moen, who has also recently taken over the position as Head of Department of Archaeology at the Museum of Cultural History, will be the project manager for the upcoming research project “Making a Warrior: the Social Implications of Viking Age Martial Ideologies” that is starting up in the fall of 2023.

– The Viking Age often evokes associations with violence and war, with images of tough men enacting scenarios of violence and war. At the same time, we know that the truth was much more complex. This project is based on the premise that Viking warriors were not a uniform group of people, and that warrior ideals moreover had socio-political and ritual aspects that were as important as the actual war and violence in itself, she tells us.

– In order to understand how the warrior ideology affected the Viking societies, we must look more closely at warrior groups in a larger cultural context and understand the relationship between them and the societies they were part of, their daily lives, social relationships and different types of social groups, Mariann Moen continues.

The basis for the project lies in the belief that warriorhood was a dynamic and multifaceted institution, that found expression not only in violence but also in various socio-political and ritual contexts. The persona of the warrior therefore was enacted both on and off the battlefield, and by a variety of people in different ways. Crucially, understanding the impact of a martial ideology, the warrior groups needs to be seen in a wider cultural context to understand the interrelationship between a martial ideology, daily life and social interaction and warrior groups.

Research on the Viking Age is complex. In order to meet this complexity, the project group is composed of researchers who combine archaeology, religious studies, philosophy and cultural history. This enables them to research the topic from different, and new, angles.

Nordforsk has allocated just under NOK 7.5 million to the research project. It is a network project with partners from the University of Iceland, the University of Uppsala in Sweden, the National Museum in Denmark and the Museum of Cultural History in Norway. In addition to research funds, the project also includes funds for network building and a two-year postdoctoral position to be announced.


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