Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The Existential Berserker: A search for meaning

For want of anything else to post at the moment, I thought I should publicise my new post on the Nottingham University English Language and Applied Linguistics blog. This short discussion of what Old Norse berserkr actually meant to the medieval saga authors might provide some food for thought for rules writers and Viking army enthusiasts.

One of the cornerstones of my thesis is that there is a significant gulf between the modern English meaning of 'berserker' and the medieval meaning of Old Norse berserkr, despite their semantic relationship, and that this gulf has led to misinterpretations of who and what they were. Obviously this has an effect on how they are depicted in wargames armies too and I hope to go into that in a future post.

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