Cult sites in northern Sweden

  • Stefan Brink
Keywords: Scandinavia, Sweden, Paganism, Cults, Names, Geographical, Linguistics, Language -- Etymology


The pagan cult in northern Sweden, i.e, Norrland, has for some decades been a neglected chapter in our history, a situation which unfortunately applies to Sweden as a whole, at least where onomastics are concerned. The aim is thus to deliver an overview of the evidence that we have of pre-Christian religious activities in these northern parts — in this aspect, onomastic material is nearly almost all we have got — and some general remarks about the conversion to the new Christian religion. The area of investigation is what in the (Swedish) medieval period was known as Norrland. In other words, the part of Sweden considered here is modern Central Norrland. With our state of knowledge of today it is not so easy to pick out the place-names that have denoted some kind of pagan cult activity. The place-name material can be divided into: 1. Theoforic place-names 2. place-names denoting the site of a pagan cult, which do not however contain theoforic elements 3. place-names with a possible pagan cultic element.
How to Cite
Brink, S. (1990). Cult sites in northern Sweden. Scripta Instituti Donneriani Aboensis, 13, 458-489.