"Thi Wilde Witsing": Vikings and Otherness in the Old Frisian Laws

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Abstract

In this article I argue that the Viking presence in various Frisian laws has little to offer for establishing a date of origin for a particular law-text. Rather than interpreting such references as reflection of real-time events, I want to make a case that mentions of tyrannizing Norsemen in these law codes should be seen as an essential constituent in a myth of origin, invented to justify the Frisians’ exceptional position within the political constellation of Western Europe in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In this grand narrative, the role assigned to the Norsemen is basically that of the Other
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
JournalJournal of English and Germanic Philology
Volume119
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01 Jun 2020

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