Hariwulfaz/Hariulf/Hærulf – a trendy name in the 5th-11th centuries

In an earlier post, I wrote about the fascination of the wolf in the Iron and Viking Ages and how this comes through in names. The tradition of combining wolf-elements with battle related words in personal names date back far earlier than the Late Iron and Viking Age. One compound name in particular is found in several examples over a long period of time in many parts of the Germanic speaking areas. And I thought I would share this little curiosity here. First, on the three 7th c. Blekinge stones discussed in the first post on wolves, one of the Continue reading Hariwulfaz/Hariulf/Hærulf – a trendy name in the 5th-11th centuries

Weapons in names, names on and of weapons

Human-object relations reflected in personal names Being an archaeologist, a thing that interests me about Scandinavian Iron and Viking Age personal names is the common use of words for objects. A survey through the material has shown that almost all objects represented are weapons or in other ways related to battle. This reflects how the Iron Age society was built around a warrior ideology – especially the social groups who wrote their names in runes on objects and stones. In later years, archaeologists have been occupied with relationships between objects and humans and the capacity of certain objects to be Continue reading Weapons in names, names on and of weapons

What’s in a name?

The archaeologists’ view on Iron Age personal names The ArcNames project has given me the rare opportunity to delve deeply into the subject of the oldest Scandinavian personal names. It is a time consuming and difficult sea of information. As I reach its far corners, the wide arrays of themes and issues keep growing. Iron Age personal names touch upon ethnic affiliations, human-animal relations, gender and stereotypes, ideologies and social organisation, religion and mythology. We may not be able to find out or distinguish between different motivations behind name giving. They were probably multiple and I am not sure whether Continue reading What’s in a name?

Welcome to the ArcNames blog

ArcNames. Individuals, social identities and archetypes – the oldest Scandinavian personal names in an archaeological light is a research project led by Dr. Sofie Laurine Albris and hosted at the University of Bergen. On this site you can follow the project activities. The project is an Individual Fellowship funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 797386.