Why this blog?

Why this blog? This blog is about the history of suicide in medieval Scandinavia. In the blog I intend to discuss issues related to my research project “Heroes, Madmen or People in Distress? Suicide in Medieval Iceland (ca 1100–1400)”. In this project, I will study conceptions of, attitudes towards and norms concerning suicide in medieval western Scandinavia, in medieval Iceland in particular since a large amount of the sources used have survived in Iceland. I created the blog because I felt I needed to have a platform on which I could work on my thoughts and ideas that would rise in the course of my research. I also wanted to inform others of my study, and papers, lectures and publications related to it, as well as of suicide as a historical and cultural phenomenon. Since I am a historian, I am also interested in change and continuity and in finding differences and similarities between the past and present conceptions of suicide. I strongly believe that knowing about history also contributes to the understanding of our own time and of the world we live in – our own culture and those of others, and the norms, attitudes and conceptions that are held now and have been held in the past, in different cultural contexts. Knowledge of the history of suicide will also contribute to discussions of other forms of death that can in some cases be considered deliberate, such as martyrdom, heroic death, or euthanasia. The blog also wishes to contribute to discussions of these aspects of voluntary death.