Brian Blurton - King Alfred
Jennifer Deyoung - morgengifu
Craig Herndon - lið
Sarah Potts - kenning
Kim Taylor - Lindisfarne


Please decide among yourselves who is responsible for defining and posting each key term.

Please define your terms on this page and NOT on the Key terms index page.

ONLY members of this group should be posting to this page.


Kenning - A type of Old Norse poetic diction that was used to identify characters by alternative names instead of just their plain names, like Thor or Odin. Kennings are compound, expressive terms that take the place of a noun or name. It commonly refers to one character in relation to another character, object or metaphor. For instance “Tyr of the Hanged Man” refers to both Tyr and Odin, which really makes the kenning more about Odin than the base character reference to Tyr. This is one of three poetic dictions used in Norse mythology and it was frequently used by Snorri Sturluson in The Prose Edda. Sturluson refers to many different gods using kennings and he states that the gods call it, “a name with identifying attribute” (kent heiti). For example there are many kennings for Thor, such as the “Son of Odin” or the “Possessor of the hammer Mjollnir”. Kennings create a kinship between the two different characters, objects or even metaphors mentioned in the primary source texts.

King Alfred - Anglo-Saxon king of Wessex in southern England. He defeated the Vikings in the Battle of Eddington in 878. In the 880's, Alfred recaptures London from the Vikings when they begin to shift towards the continent. When the Vikings return from the mainland in the 890's, Alfred holds them off again. Because of him, the Vikings never fully conquered England. He is remembered as Alfred the Great.

Lindisfarne- A tidal island off the north-east coast of England that can be reached by low tide. It is famous for being the first contact with the Vikings in June 793 AD. It is believed that the Vikings came for the treasure in the monastery and it was partially burned down. This incident is what is considered the start of the Viking Age in the West.

Lið- Old Norse term referring to a group, most often to an army or fleet. In the text, it usually refers to a group of viking warriors. However, it may also refer to just a group of people.

Morgengifu - Morgengifu, meaning "morning gift", was a payment made to the bride by the bridegroom to financially secure her position in the marriage. It was given to the bride the morning after a successfully consumated marriage. The morgengifu usually consisted of land or property that could bring in an income. It could not be taken back once it was given, and the woman could sell it, or do with it as she pleased without her husband's intervention.