Today, on Monday March 24th, Dr Jens Eike Schnall from the University of Bergen will give a talk called "Marvels of the Sea: Learned Traditions and Critical Thinking from Medieval to Early Modern Times." The seminar will take place in the library of Skandinavistika (Ülikooli 17, 3rd floor, room 305) at 18.15.
"Tales of the unheard-of, the wondrous or the fantastic as found e.g. in oral reports, the sagas, or Old Norse scientific literature were a challenge to their medieval recipients: what attitude towards them should they take? Reject them as purely fictional? Consider them to be at least possibly true? Or let the decision whether to believe or reject them depend on the witness of authorities?
Various knowledge of nature including descriptions of natural wonders relies on traditions from antiquity, and has also been passed on by the learned from the Middle Ages to Early Modern Times. But also own observations or the knowledge of specialists could become part of the learned tradition, as e.g. in the Old Norwegian Kings' Mirror of the mid thirteenth century or Conrad Gessner's Piscium & aquatilium animantium natura (1558). The paper focuses on attitudes towards and reflections of the above named questions with regard to whales and (other) sea monsters."
Jens Eike Schnall is Associate Professor of Old Norse philology at the University of Bergen, Norway. His main field of specialisation is Old Norse literature as a part of European medieval literature.
The Pre-modern seminar is an interdisciplinary and informal seminar at Tartu University organized by the Department of Scandinavian Studies and led by Professor Daniel Sävborg. It was founded in 2010 and has so far arranged 30 meetings with talks by scholars on different levels, both from Estonia and from abroad. The focus is on pre-1800 issues of all kinds.
Wine, bread, fruit, cheese and ham will be served.
Everybody is welcome!