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International community discusses the Viking Age in Estonia

On 7–12 August, the University of Tartu, in collaboration with the University of Tallinn and the University of Helsinki, organises in Finland and Estonia the 18th International Saga Conference Sagas and the Circum-Baltic Arena, gathering the leading experts from all over the world.

The Viking Age is internationally one of the most well-known phenomena of Nothern Europe, well attested in modern popular culture as well as in traditional art and literature. In international scholarship, the Viking Age is the most active field of research in Scandinavian Studies.

Every third year, the international community of Viking Age studies gathers at the International Saga Conference, the leading interdisciplinary forum for Old Norse literature, philology, history, archaeology, and folklore. The conference's venue alternates between different countries; this year, it will be held in Estonia for the first time. The main theme of this year has, consequently, a focus proper for the venue: “Sagas and the Circum-Baltic Arena”. The arrangement of this year’s conference is a collaboration between the University of Tartu, the University of Tallinn, and the University of Helsinki. Its unique feature is that it is held in two different countries: the first half in Finland and the second in Estonia. The placing of the conference in Estonia underscores that Estonia, too, is a Nordic country which has a part in the Viking Age heritage and recognises us as an international centre of Viking Age and Old Norse studies. Estonia plays an important role in Viking Age history and Old Norse sagas, and the conference will undoubtedly increase the interest in Estonia’s part in Viking Age history and culture.

More than 300 scholars will participate in the conference, most of them with papers connected with the main theme of this year. Among the contributors might be mentioned Stephen Mitchell from Harvard University, Neil Price from Uppsala University and Haraldur Bernharðsson from the University of Iceland. Daniel Sävborg, Professor of Scandinavian Studies at the University of Tartu, will contribute with a paper on the courtly literature in medieval Norway. Sävborg is the representative of Estonia on the International Saga Conference Board as well as one of the organisers of this year’s conference. He has published about 90 books and articles on Old Norse literature and folklore.

Further information: Daniel Sävborg, Professor of Scandinavian Studies, University of Tartu, +372 5663 0038 or +372 737 6250, daniel.savborg@ut.ee

Conference website: https://www2.helsinki.fi/en/conferences/18th-international-saga-conference

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