The concept of miracle is not the same in each culture and its interpretation is strictly linked with what is perceived as ‘natural’ and what seems to go beyond human experience. Old Norse literature displays many examples of miracles from various kinds of texts which are mainly based on Latin sources (Passiones, Vitae, etc.). However, they are also to be inscribed into the Old Norse literary and cultural context which features a keen interest in the supernatural and the marvellous, in prose as well as in poetry. Even Old Norse sagas show capacity to adapt to the tendency of local literature to develop marvellous and fantastic elements, particularly from the fourteenth century on, notwithstanding the realistic pattern of some saga types. Miracles in the strict sense are traditionally associated with divine intervention and the saint is God’s ‘representative’ who ‘certifies’ God’s presence and power through the miracle. However, miracles too are liable to cross the border of the fantastic in Old Norse literature, allowing doubts as to their trustworthiness and reality. Ambiguity in the attitude towards miraculous events, or even true skepticism, is occasionally voiced in the sources and the terms used significantly reflect this uncertainty. On the basis of evidence from hagiographical texts, in this paper I try to show how critical views about miracles may be linked to different reasons and perspectives and to substantiate the hypothesis of an ongoing debate about the miraculous in the Norse Middle Ages.
|Titolo:||Atburð en eigi jartegn: il ‘miracolo’ nella letteratura norrena|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|
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