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Based on the revised and expanded edition of 2004, this paperback is an encyclopaedic study of English dress from the fifth to the eleventh centuries, drawing evidence from archaeology, text and art (manuscripts, ivories, metalwork, stone sculpture, mosaics), and also from re-enactors' experience. It examines archaeological textiles, cloth production and the significance of imported cloth and foreign fashions. Dress is discussed as a marker of gender, ethnicity, status and social role - in the context of a pagan burial, dress for holy orders, bequests of clothing, commissioning a kingly wardrobe, and much else - and surviving dress fasteners and accessories are examined with regard to type and to geographical/chronological distribution. There are colour reconstructions of early Anglo-Saxon dress and a cutting pattern for a gown from the Bayeux tapestry; Old English garment names are discussed, and there is a glossary of costume and other relevant terms. GALE OWEN-CROCKER is Professor of Anglo-Saxon Culture at the University of Manchester. She has a special interest in dress throughout the medieval period - she advises on dress entries to the Toronto Old English Dictionary and has consulted for many museums and television companies. She is co-editor of the journal Medieval Clothing and Textiles.
Viking Identities is the first detailed archaeological study of Viking-Age Scandinavian-style female dress items from England. Based on primary archival and archaeological research, including the analysis of hundreds of recent metal-detector finds, it presents evidence for over 500 brooches and pendants worn by women in the late ninth and tenth centuries. Jane F. Kershaw argues that these finds add an entirely new dimension to the limited existing archaeological evidence for Scandinavian activity in the British Isles and make possible a substantial reassessment of the Viking settlements. Kershaw offers an interpretation of the significance of the jewellery in a broader, historical context. The jewellery highlights locations of settlement not commonly associated with the Vikings. In contrast to claims of high levels of cultural assimilation, the jewellery suggests that incoming groups maintained a distinct Scandinavian identity which was sometimes appropriated by the indigenous population. Kershaw also addresses one of the great unanswered questions in the study of Viking-Age settlements: what about the women? The interpretation of the jewellery challenges traditional perceptions of Viking conquest as an all-male affair and brings into focus a population group which has, until now, been almost invisible. Kershaw describes the objects and explores a number of themes related to their contemporary use, including their date, distribution, and function in costume. This body of material - unknown 30 years ago - is introduced to a public audience for the first time. Including many object images and maps, the study provides a practical guide to the identification of Scandinavian metalwork.
Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex is a collection of years of research into a topic seldom discussed or easily found within the Hindu/Vedic scriptural canon. Based entirely upon authentic Sanskrit references and modern concurring facts, the book guides us through the original Hindu concept of a "third sex" (defined as homosexuals, transgenders and the intersexed), how such people were constructively incorporated into ancient Indian society, and how foreign influences eventually eroded away that noble system. It discusses how this concept can be practically applied in today's modern world, the importance of all-inclusiveness in human society, and the spiritual principle of learning to transcend material designations altogether. Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex will be a valuable source of reference for anyone interested in Hindu/LGBTI studies whether they are newcomers to the field or seasoned veterans of Vedic knowledge. It offers a veritable treasure trove of fresh information and ideas that will likely challenge the reader to rediscover and rethink Hinduism's traditional understanding and treatment of gay, lesbian, and other gender-variant people within its culture. "The recognition of a third sex in ancient India and Hinduism is highly relevant in many ways. Our own modern-day society has only recently begun to understand sexual orientation, transgender identity, and intersex conditions, and our legal and social systems are just beginning to catch up with and accommodate such people in a fair and realistic way . . . yet ancient India had already addressed and previously resolved this issue many thousands of years ago in the course of its own civilization's development. Indeed, there is much we can learn from ancient India's knowledge regarding the recognition and accommodation of a 'third sex' within society." -Amara Das Wilhelm "In India there is a system where such people (the third sex) have their own society, and whenever there is some good occasion like marriage or childbirth, they go there and pray to God that this child may be very long living." -A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada "Gay and lesbian people have always been a part of society from Vedic times to our postmodern times. They should be accepted for what they are in terms of their sexual orientation and encouraged like everyone else to pursue spiritual life." -B.V. Tripurari Swami "Initially, I did not really allow myself to go deep in trying to understand the third sex. I figured that this was necessary only for those who are insensitive, arrogant and fundamentalist . . . who think that they are compassionate and tolerant while basically being superficial and even condescending. It is quite amazing how most of us can be so prejudiced about so many things and not even know it . . . .I thank you and several others for your compassion and for your tolerance in making efforts to educate your Godfamily, so that we can be more authentic servants of the servant." -H.H. Bhakti Tirtha Swami
This richly illustrated book presents a selection of the rich and varied iconographic material from the Scandinavian Late Iron Age (AD 400-1050) depicting clothed human figures, from an archaeological textile and clothing perspective. The source material consists of five object categories: gold foils, gold bracteates, helmet plaques, jewelry, and textile tapestries and comprises over 1000 different images of male and female costumes which are then systematically examined in conjunction with our present knowledge of archaeological textiles. In particular, the study explores the question of whether the selected images complement the archaeological clothing sources, through a new analytical tool which enables us to compare and contrast the object categories in regard to material, function, chronology, context and interpretation. The tool is used to record and analyze the numerous details of the iconographic costumes, and to facilitate a clear and easy description. This deliberate use of explicit costume shapes enhances our interpretation and understanding of the Late Iron Age clothing tradition. Thus, the majority of the costumes depicted are identified in the Scandinavian archaeological textile record, demonstrating that the depictions are a reliable source of research for both iconographical costume and archaeological clothing. The book contributes with new information on social, regional and chronological differences in clothing traditions from ca. AD 400 to the Viking Age.
'It is one of the most remarkable aspects of Viking Age England that... there are very few Viking grave" - Richards (2000). This study, by examining all the evidence for Viking settlement, and by looking at burial practices within the entire English social milieu aims to understand why this might be. For comparative purposes it also looks at evidence for burial practices in Viking Age Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man.
The Vikings are not often thought of as poets, though they came from a culture that valued poetry highly and rewarded poets handsomely. There is evidence for the kinds of poetry favoured by the Vikings from the fifth to the fifteenth centuries, in oral tradition, in runes and in medieval manuscripts. This book features a selection of carefully-chosen poems to encompass the rich store of genres and styles of the Vikings, whose poetic language is colourful, intricate and steeped in mythological knowledge. The style of the poetry ranges from the highly formal to the scurrilous, and is often light-hearted, even in the face of death and tragedy. Beautifully illustrated with works of art from the British Museum collection, this book captures perfectly the essence of Viking Poetry and offers a fascinating glimpse into the ideology of the time.
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Scotland is very rich in the remains and evidence of the Vikings. Using all the sources available - historical, archaeological and linguistic - this book explores this heritage and studies, in detail, the story of the Vikings in Scotland, beginning with the situation in Scotland before they arrived and concluding with the longer term effects of Norse settlement.
A detailed, researched and inspired book on Norse and Anglo Saxon tradition Paganism. This book is written from a different perspective to other books published on aspects of what is known variously as Asatru, The Northern Tradition and Odinism to present a handbook of accumulated data so that people can read and interpret it for themselves, aided by sometimes conflicting or complementary opinions clearly labelled, enabling the reader to develop and adapt their own theories and practices, rather than have them laid out by someone else. Where possible Pete compares more than one source of information. Trying to subjectively observe a movement from within, whilst being a part of it oneself is a delicate path to tread, but in this book Pete does an admirable job, separating them from the historical data being presented.