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8th Annual Francis Lee Utley Lecture: Thomas A. DuBois

Thomas A. DuBois, University of Wisconsin-Madison, presents "Seeing the Sky with Nordic Eyes: Archaeoastronomical Perspectives on the Stars and Planets of the Medieval North".

For thousands of years, the night sky represented a powerful repository of mythic knowledge, a canvas on which to paint and preserve a community's sacred history. On the northern periphery of Europe, where winter nights stretch in length to nearly continuous darkness, Germanic, Baltic, and Finno-Ugric cultures interacted, recording milennia of cultural contact and conflict in the stories they told about the sun, moon, planets, stars, and constellations. Around the turn of the first millennium AD, Christianity introduced into the region new ideas of the heavens as well as Mediterranean lore regarding constellations and astrology. In this presentation, Thomas DuBois examines what can be said about the medieval pre-Christian astronomy of Nordic-Baltic peoples based on evidence drawn from medieval texts, archaeology, and post-medieval astral traditions.

Co-sponsored by the Center for Folklore Studies and Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies

For more information, visit the Center for Folklore Studies website.