Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Sunday, 21 November 2021

The Sutton Hoo Helmet - a reinterpretation

I came upon a video by The Welsh Viking - who was new to me but has produced a range of such things, especially in connection with re-enactment clothing as well as being a graduate student in archaeology - which looks at the latest theory about the iconography and significance of the Sutton Hoo helmet.

He bases his account on a recent research paper which argues the imagery of Odin/Wotan/Grim on the decoration of the helmet and its overall design is highly suggestive of ritual use and the function of the wearer - let us assume it was a King of East Anglia - as a temporal representative of the pagan God. As he also points out Odin is a constant theme in the decoration of the finds from the Sutton Hoo ship. He case for such an interpretation seems impressive.

The video, with links to the academic articles he cites, can be seen at Is the Sutton Hoo Helmet from "The Dig" Really an Odin Mask?

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