Witchcraft & the Law in Medieval Scandinavia
Stephen Mitchell, Professor of Folklore and Mythology and Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University, will give the first fall lecture in the Scandinavian Impulses series on Vengeance and Violence in Scandinavian Life and Culture, sponsored by the UMass German and Scandinavian Studies Program and funded by a grant from the Nordic Council.
Mitchell will discuss witchcraft in Scandinavia read against the backdrop of medieval Nordic legal culture. Witchcraft in this region emerges in a variety of forms: darkly hinted at in connection with pagan practices in early law codes, and later considered so notorious or harmful that it demanded legal action. Mitchell, who is author of Witchcraft and Magic in the Nordic Middle Ages (2011), will contextualize the changing image of black magic in legal documents.
The talk, sponsored by the German and Scandinavian Studies Program and the Department of English at UMass Amherst, is free and open to the public.