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PUBLIC TALK: Can Bede Explain the Great Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial? Georgina Pitt / PMRG

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Today's date is Monday, September 24, 2018
Can Bede Explain the Great Sutton Hoo Ship-Burial? Georgina Pitt / PMRG : Other events...
The sumptuous ship-burial at Sutton Hoo has long been associated with pagan cosmology and the heroic Anglo-Saxon poem, Beowulf. Press coverage of the 1939 Sutton Hoo treasure trove inquest cited the burials described in Beowulf; scholarly works on Sutton Hoo continue to invoke Beowulf as an analogy. An alternative, perhaps unexpected, textual source suggests a different explanation for the Sutton Hoo ship-burial, an explanation centred upon the pragmatic realities of secular political power during the Anglo-Saxon conversion period. A careful study of Bede’s Historia Ecclesiastica demonstrates that in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, hungry æthelings and nervous new kings adopted specific conversion positions (baptism, syncretism, apostasy, or steadfast adherence to the old gods) as a strategy of affiliation and differentiation in the context of contestation for a throne. The Sutton Hoo ship-burial was a power-play. The evidence for that interpretation rests not on epic poetry declaimed in a smoky meadhall, but in an exemplar for Christian kings carefully crafted by a Northumbrian monk in the quiet of his monastery.
Speaker(s) Georgina Pitt
Location Arts Lecture Room 8
Contact Laura Collier <21283286@student.uwa.edu.au> : 0419774983
Start Tue, 18 Sep 2018 18:00
End Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:00
Submitted by Laura Collier <21283286@student.uwa.edu.au>
Last Updated Tue, 28 Aug 2018 09:33
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