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Horror in the Medieval North: The Troll

  • Ármann Jakobsson
Chapter

Abstract

The Norse concept of the troll has covered a variety of meanings, and this study engages with the medieval meaning. The troll appears in medieval sources, such as eddas and sagas. After the Middle Ages, it has an afterlife in folklore and, finally, in modern popular culture. This study engages with some cases from medieval literature to demonstrate how vague the meaning of the concept often is and how broad the term is. Thus, the medieval troll category will include creatures that others refer to as witches, magicians, sorcerers, ghosts, zombies, and vampires, but also possessed animals and gigantic ethnic others. In the Middle Ages, trolls were not really thought of a race or a species; that was a later development influenced by scientific taxonomy.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ármann Jakobsson
    • 1
  1. 1.University of IcelandReykjavíkIceland

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