Date of Award

Spring 5-1-2023

Document Type



College of Arts and Sciences

Degree Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts

Thesis Advisor

Gregory D. Bell, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Margaret Gillikin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

J. Eddie Lee, Ph.D.


Medieval Scandinavia, Norse Mythology, Western Europe, Scandinavian Women, Medieval Women’s Roles, Gender in Medieval Europe, Women in Norse Myth


The brutality of the Vikings and the conquests of medieval Scandinavian men have often garnered the majority of interest from the media, the armchair historian, and the scholar alike, with the pursuits and lives of their female counterparts seldom discussed. Medieval Scandinavian women’s lives though, when examined, are just as enthralling as those of the men. And while their stories are not necessarily as full of bloodshed or glory, the lives of women, those seen in both mythology and memory, provide an insight into the secular and religious foundations of medieval Scandinavian communities. Through an examination of various mythological texts, Church doctrines, and Scandinavian legal documents, this paper will submit that though women did not play a very public role within society, their importance and status was felt in the realms of the home and the business alike, born from a mythological reverence and later codified through law.

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