Academic Staff:
Dr Elizabeth Ashman Rowe

University Lecturer in Scandinavian History
of the Medieval Period
Fellow of Clare Hall

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Elizabeth Rowe


Clare Hall, Cambridge CB3 9AL (+44 01223 332360)
Department of ASNC
Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Office: S-R 36, (+44-1223-767313), email:

Departmental/College Responsibilities

  • Teaching in Scandinavian History in the Medieval Period (Parts I and II)
  • Contributor to the teaching of Palaeography and Codicology (Part I)
  • Contributor to the teaching of the special History seminar (Part II)
  • Chair of Examiners (2012-2014)
  • Member of the Faculty Library Committee
  • Member of the Clare Hall Fellowship Committee

Academic Interests (teaching and research)

Medieval Icelandic historiography; Medieval Icelandic and Norwegian history; Medieval Icelandic codicology and palaeography, New-historicist readings of Old Norse sagas and thaettir; Anglo-Saxon history.

  • Basic Group Coordinator, International Summer School in Manuscript Studies (Copenhagen and Reykjavík)
  • History Editor, The Year’s Work in Old English Studies (Harvard University)

Selected Publications

  • Fornaldarsögur and heroic legends of the Edda.’ In Revisiting the Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Heroic Legend, ed. Paul Acker and Carolyne Larrington. London: Routledge, 2013. Pp. 202–218.
  • Vikings in the West: The Legend of Ragnarr Loðbrók and his Sons. Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia, Vol. 18. Vienna: Fassbaender Verlag, 2012.
  • Sögubrot af fornkonungum: Mythologised History for Late Thirteenth-Century Iceland.’ In Making History: Essays on the Fornaldarsögur, ed. Martin Arnold and Alison Finlay. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2010. Pp. 1–19. 
  • ‘Helpful Danes and Pagan Irishmen: Saga Fantasies of the Viking Age in the British Isles.’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2009) 5:1-21.
  • Ragnars saga loðbrókar, Ragnarssona þáttr, and the Political World of Haukr Erlendsson.’ In Fornaldarsagaerne: Myter og virkelighed, ed. Agneta Ney, Ármann Jakobsson, and Annette Lassen. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, 2009. Pp. 347–360.
  • ‘Literary, Codicological, and Political Perspectives on Hauksbók.’ Gripla (2008) 19:51-76.
  • “Quid Sigvardus cum Christo? Moral Interpretations of Sigurðr Fáfnisbani in Old Norse Literature.” Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2006) 2:167-200.
  • ‘Interrogating Genre in the Fornaldarsögur: Round-Table Discussion.’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2006) 2:284-286 and 290.
  • The Development of Flateyjarbók: Iceland and the Norwegian Dynastic Crisis of 1389.  The Viking Collection, Vol. 15. Odense: Syddansk Universitets Forlag, 2005.
  • “The Adaptation of Laxdæla Saga in Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta.” Leeds Studies in English (2005)   n. s. 36:157-174.
  • “The Möðruvallabók Text of Chapter Five of Kormaks saga: A Palaeographical CommentaryIn A New Introduction to Old Norse, Part II: Reader, third edition, ed. Anthony Faulkes. London: Viking Society for Northern Research / University College London, 2005. Pp. 239-253.
  • “Short Prose Narrative (Þáttr).” Co-authored with Joseph Harris (Harvard University). In A Companion to Old Norse – Icelandic Literature and Culture, ed. Rory McTurk. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. Pp. 462-478.
  • ‘Álfar (Elves).’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, 2nd ed., ed. Lindsay Jones. New York: Thomson Gale, 2005. Pp. 254b-255a.
  • ‘Dvergar (Dwarves).’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp.  2532a-2532b.
  • ‘Eddas.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 2691b-2694a.
  • ‘Freyja.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 3218a-3219b.
  • ‘Freyr.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 3219b-3221a.
  • ‘Germanic Religion: An Overview.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 3445b-3458b.
  • ‘Germanic Religion: History of Study.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 3458b-3461a.
  • ‘Heimdallr.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 3898a-3899a.
  • ‘Jötnar (Giants).’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 4959b-4960b.
  • ‘Njörðr.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 6641b-6642b.
  • ‘Óðinn.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 6808a-6810b.
  • ‘Runes [Further Considerations].’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 7940a-7941b.
  • ‘Sagas.’ In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 8023b-8026a.
  • ‘Týr.’  In the Encyclopedia of Religion, pp. 9426a-9427a.
  • Þorsteins þáttr uxafóts, Helga þáttr Þórissonar, and the Conversion Þættir.” Scandinavian Studies (2004) 76:459-474.
  • “Absent Mothers and the Sons of Fornjótr: Late-Thirteenth-Century Monarchist Ideology in Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar.” Mediaeval Scandinavia (2004) 14:133-60.
  • “Fornaldarsögur and Flateyjarbók.” Gripla (2003) 14:93-105.
  • “The Flateyjarbók Annals as a Historical Source: A Response to Eldbjørg Haug.” Scandinavian Journal of History (2002) 27:233-241.
  • Sörla Þáttr: The Literary Adaptation of Myth and Legend.” Saga-Book of the Viking  Society (2002) 26:38-66.
  • “Folktale and Parable: The Unity of Gautreks Saga.” Gripla (1998) 10:155-166.
  • “Historical Invasions / Historiographical Interventions: Snorri Sturluson and the Battle of Stamford Bridge.” Mediaevalia (1994 [for 1991]) 17:149-176.
  • “Generic Hybrids: Norwegian ‘Family’ Sagas and Icelandic ‘Mythic-Heroic’ Sagas.”  Scandinavian Studies  (1993) 64:539-554.
  • ‘Króka-Refs saga.’ In Medieval Scandinavia, ed. Phillip Pulsiano et al. New York: Garland Publishing, Inc., 1993. Pp. 369a-370b.
  • ‘Þorsteins draumr Síðu-Hallssonar.’ In Medieval Scandinavia, p. 673b.
  • ‘Þorsteins saga Síðu-Hallssonar.’ In Medieval Scandinavia, pp. 674a-674b.
  • ‘Víglundar saga.’ In Medieval Scandinavia, pp. 692b-693a.
  • “Searching for the Highest King: St. Christopher and Þáttr Sveins ok Finns.” Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi (1990) 105:131-139.