Richard Hall Symposium – 2021

The 2021 online version of the annual event, featuring a series of live lectures by world-renowned Viking experts.

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One Thing After Another: assemblies and assembly-places in the Viking world

In a year when meetings and assemblies of all sorts have been postponed and cancelled, 2021’s Richard Hall Symposium moved online to consider the thing, the Viking-era public gathering for making political decisions, settling disputes and upholding laws. The symposium was part of the first ever That JORVIK Viking Thing, an accessible programme of digital activity with a focus on the Viking past for audiences of all kinds.

Our four plenary speakers will consider sites across the Viking world, including Govan’s Doomster Hill, the Dublin Thingmotte, Tynwald Hill on the Isle of Man, and thing sites in the Viking homelands of Scandinavia. Authority, representation and democracy will all come under the spotlight in what promises to be a fascinating and informative assembly in the digital realm.

The Richard Hall Symposium 2021 is part of our Vikings On Demand series, recordings of our most popular ticketed events from That JORVIK Viking Thing 2021 and 2022 and Archaeology Live 2021. Please note that there is a small charge per viewing which helps us to produce more content in the future. Your purchase gives you access to the film for seven days from the date of purchase.

To watch the full video, click here!

Alexandra Sanmark, University of the Highlands and Islands – The Thing in Scandinavia

Edmund Southworth, Manx National Heritage – The Viking legacy of Tynwald: The Parliament of the Isle of Man

The Vikings who settled on the Isle of Man brought with them a rich and diverse culture which flourished for several centuries. The legacy is still visible in the landscape, archaeology, language and legal system. This presentation will look at the Viking elements which still survive in Tynwald – which is arguably the world’s oldest continuous parliament.

Stephen Driscoll, University of Glasgow – Imperial Influences on Royal Assembly and Ceremony in Scotland, 800-1100

This presentation will reflect on the recent investigations at the Pictish royal centres at Forteviot and Scone, associated with the Gaelic kingdom of Alba. The archaeology relating to the political developments in east central Scotland will be used to illuminate the contemporary developments at Govan, the royal focus of the British kingdom of Strathclyde. In both cases sculpture contributes significantly to our understanding of these sites.

Stephen Harrison, University of Glasgow – From Dublin to York – Rethinking the Viking Connection

York and Dublin have long been regarded as the two most important urban centres in the Viking West, with close political, social and economic links. This paper will present some of the latest findings from and about Viking-Age Dublin – including its Thingmotte – to a York-based audience and will introduce the recently announced AHRC funded ‘York-Dublin axis project’, which seeks to strengthen connections between the two settlements