To help keep me sane during this heat, and as part of my Very Serious Research™ (read: pissing about with a dictionary and writing down the occasionally funny name), I have constructed a new Twitter bot (@botmedieval), which you can follow here. The bot feeds off my database of nicknames that I am currently in … Continue reading The Early Medieval Nicknames Bot
This week, I want to take a quick look at Herman Contractus (elsewhere Hermann of Reichenau). An eleventh-century German Benedictine monk, Herman is the subject of Berthold of Reichenau’s Chronicle, the author of his own chronicle, and an impressive portfolio of music. Despite his contributions, Herman is most remarkable for his Medieval Latin nickname contractus. … Continue reading Herman ‘the Crippled’ – Early Medieval Disability
This year I was fortunate enough to give a presentation at The Háskóli Íslands Student Conference on the Medieval North, a wonderful conference for graduate students to share their early research across literature, history and archaeology. Sadly, with Covid, this took place in the slightly dingy confines of my room rather than Reykjavik, but it … Continue reading Icelandic ‘Viking’ Nicknames – My First Conference Paper
Simo 'White Death' Häyhä is not a particularly well-known historical figure, partly as a result of his nationality - Finnish history is sadly rarely studied by most of the rest of Europe. Where it does re-emerge particularly, however, is the Winter War, a sub-section of WW2. From 1939 until 1940, the Finnish fought against a … Continue reading Simo ‘White Death’ Häyhä
Onund appears in the beginning of Grettir's Saga, a 14thC Icelandic Saga, as a kind of genealogical backstory. A free version of the saga is available on the Saga Database here if you want to explore it more, based Morris and Magnusson's translation, and for the purpose of accessibility this will be the translation used … Continue reading Onund ‘Treefoot’ the Viking
Understanding Nicknames I've had a brief look at offensive and shocking nicknames before, especially among the Anglo-Saxons, but here we're going to look in a little more depth, with some more examples. Again, I'm drawing primarily from Peterson's excellent 2015 thesis (which you can access here). Peterson often acknowledges a broad range of potential translations … Continue reading Rude Viking Nicknames
Last term I attended a confernce put on by the American Names Society to present a paper based on my current PhD work on early medieval nicknames. Specifically, I was talking about nikcnames surrounding disability, and how they might have been used among early medieval popualtions to navigate ideas of 'difference', and whether they were … Continue reading Nicknames of ‘Disability’ in Early Medieval England
Recently, St Cross College ran their yearly history prize. This involved, among other things, producing a plain English explanation of your current research. I thought I'd take this opportunity to share the result, and a little bit more about my research. How can we use nicknames for past societies to ask important questions about the … Continue reading What Can Nicknames Tell Us About History?