Science in medieval Scandinavia

Oplægget ved Christian Etheridge finder sted mandag den 6. november i lokale 12-0-35 på Søndre Campus kl. 17.15.

Scandinavia was not on the periphery in medieval science but actually part of the mainstream. The geographical distance of Scandinavia from traditional centres of learning, coupled with a lack of straightforward written evidence due to the destruction of manuscripts during the Reformation, has led scholars to believe in a form of Scandinavian exceptionalism in the middle ages which is not the case. Scandinavians had been exceptional travellers in the Viking Age and this certainly did not stop during the subsequent middle ages. Scandinavians also were members of the religious orders that were international in context and who exchanged manuscripts and ideas. To a lesser extent, royal courts, noble patronage and mercantile contacts also shared ideas of medieval science. Scandinavian scholars were found in all of the great universities of the middle ages studying science at these universities and also returning with manuscripts back to Scandinavia. Not only that but Scandinavians taught science at these universities and also wrote treatises on science that had a wide distribution over Europe. This paper takes this evidence to show a coherent picture of science in Scandinavia during the middle ages.

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