Hedeby — Schleswig in “Knýtlinga Saga” Cover Image
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Хедебю/Шлезвиг в «Саге о Кнютлингах»
Hedeby — Schleswig in “Knýtlinga Saga”

Author(s): Tatjana N. Jackson
Subject(s): History, Archaeology, Geography, Regional studies, Historical Geography, Middle Ages, 6th to 12th Centuries
Published by: Издательский дом Stratum, Университет «Высшая антропологическая школа»
Keywords: Denmark; Hedeby; Schleswig; “unprotected trade and crafts settlement”; bishopric; duchy; “Knýtlinga saga”; historical and geographical reality;

Summary/Abstract: The article addresses Hedeby, described in the Icelandic Knýtlinga saga presenting the history of Denmark from the 10th to mid-13th century, a (proto)town which could be defined by a term coined by V. A. Bulkin and G. S. Lebedev as an “unprotected trade and crafts settlement”. Hedeby was the most important Danish trade and crafts center of the Viking Age, located on a trade route connecting the Baltic and North Seas in the narrowest part of Jutland. However, turn of the 10th—11th centuries was crucial in its history: its coinage ceased in late 10th century, last building activities on the site date to 1020s, according to dendrochronological data; Hedeby was destroyed by Harald the Hard Ruler ca. 1050, and then, in 1066, it was ruined by West Slavic forces. Functions of the commercial and administrative center gradually shifted to Schleswig, which arose on the northern shore of the Schlei Bay. However, the author of Knýtlinga saga (mid-13th century) does not mention Schleswig but calls the place Hedeby. The fact that the bishopric founded in Schleswig in 948 is called “the episcopal chair in Hedeby” could be explained by the fact that the saga retained its original name. But in case of Schleswig duchy, which arose in the early 12th century, being called by the saga’s author the “duchy of Hedeby”, this argument does not work at all. Rather, the fact is that the traditional character of geographical ideas of the sagas was in conflict with historical and geographical reality that was changing in time.

  • Issue Year: 2018
  • Issue No: 5
  • Page Range: 65-72
  • Page Count: 8
  • Language: Russian