Exploring the relationship between animals and humans in
Scandinavia from the Roman Iron Age to the Viking Period, this book
interprets Old Norse mythology--in which imaginary creatures with
strong characters were invented--and examines the importance of
animals in the human world. According to Old Norse perceptions,
real and fantasy animals in Midgard became mouthpieces for human
characteristics and reflections of people's social position. With
the aid of animals, humans could also show who they really were as
well as control higher powers. Combining results from archaeology
and Old Norse texts, this account discusses the functional,
symbolic, and cognitive meanings of animals and the implications of
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