5. Viking Congress 1965

     – Tórshavn, Faroe Islands


18th - 28th July.



Hákun Djurhuus, Lögmaður.

Organising Committee:

Sverri Dahl, Director, Føroya Fornminnissavn; H.D. Joensen, dr. med. Chief Medical Officer of Health, chairman; Chr. Matras, Professor, dr. phil.; Bjarni Niclasen, Lecturer, Føroya Læraraskúli, Honorary Secretary; Johannes Rasmussen, Mag. Scient., Director, Føroya Náttúrugripasavn; Mrs. Maud Heinesen, Secretary of the Committy.

National Representatives:


Iceland: dr. phil. Jakob Benediktsson; (cand. mag. Bjarni Einarsson;) museumsinspektør Gísli Gestsson.





Delegates of the Congress:

Britain Michael Patrick Barnes, B. A., Dept. of Scandinavian Studies, University College, Gower Street, London W. C. 1; Alan  Binns, Senior Lecturer, Department of English,  The University, Hull; Dr. J. R. Coull, Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen; Stewart Cruden, Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Scotland, 122 George Street, Edinburgh 2; James G. Cruickshank, Lecture in Geography, Geography Department, The Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland; Christine E. Fell, M. A., Department of English, University of Aberdeen; Professor Peter Foote, Department of Scandinavian Studies, University College, Gower Street, London W. C. 1; Helen C. Nisbet, M. A., B. Sc., F. S. A. Scot., Grant Institute of Geology, King's Buildings, Edinburgh 9; Dr. R. I. Page, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge; Dr. O. K. Schram, Department of English Language, University of Edinburgh; Stewart F. Sanderson, M. A., Director, Institute of Dialect and Folk Life-Studies, University of Leeds; Alan Small, M. A., Department of Geography, University of Aberdeen, Old Aberdeen; E. Alistair Smith, M. A., Department of Geography, St. Mary's, High Street, Aberdeen; John Stewart, M. A., F. S. A. Aberdeen; Robert B. K. Stevenson, Keeper, National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Edinburgh 2; J. A. B. Townsend, Assistant Librarian, 12 College Court, The Royal Hospital, Chelsea, London S. W.3; D. M. Wilson, M. A., F. S. A., Reader in Archaeology, Department of English, University College, London.

Denmark Hans Bekker-Nielsen, universitetsadjunkt,cand.mag., København; P.V. Glob, rigsantikvar, professor, dr. phil., Nationalmuseet, København; Olaf Olsen, museums-inspektør, cand. mag., Nationalmuseet, København; C. L. Vebæk, museumsinspektør, cand. mag., Nationalmuseet, København.

Ireland Professor Séamus O'Duilearga, D. Litt., Irish Folklore Commission, University College, Dublin 2; Professor David Green, M.A., 24 Trinity College, University of Dublin, Dublin 2; Sean Sweeney, M. A., Raith House, Carrowbeg, Co. Mayo.

Iceland Jakob Benediktsson, dr. phil., Reykjavik; Bjarni Einarsson, cand. mag., Reykjavik: Gísli Gestsson, museumsinspektør, Þjóðminjasafnið, Reykjavik.

Norway Egil Bakka, konservator, mag. art., Historisk Museum, Universitetet, Bergen; Olav Bo, førstearkivar, dr., Institutt for Folkeminnevitskap, Universitetet, Blindern, Oslo; Reidar Djupedal, dosent, Institutt for Nordisk Filologi, Universitetet, Bergen; Per Fett, førstekonservator, mag. art., Historisk Museum, Universitetet, Bergen; E. F. Halvorsen, prófessor, dr., Institutt for Nordisk Språk og Litteratur, Universitetet, Oslo; Aslak Liestøl, førstekonservator, Universitetets Oldsakssamling, Oslo; Sverre Marstrander, førstekon-servator, dr. philos., Det Kgl. Norske Videnskabers Selskabs Museum, Trondheim; Mortan Nolsøe, konservator, mag. art., Institutt for Folkeminnevitskap, Universitetet, Blindern, Oslo; Per Thorson, professor, dr. philos., Universitetet, Bergen.

Sweden Bo Almqvist, docent, Uppsala; Valter Jansson, professor, fil. dr., Institutionen for Nordiska Språk vid Uppsala Universitet, Uppsala; Anders Nyman, intendent, fil.lic, Nordiska Museet, Stockholm; Åsa Nyman, arkivarie, fil. lic., Landsmåls- och Folkminnesarkivet, Universitetet, Uppsala; Dag Strömbäck, professor, fil. dr., Landsmåls- och Folkminnesarkivet, Universitetet, Uppsala.

Faroes E. A. Bjørk, sorinskrivari, Tórshavn. Sverri Dahl, antikvar, Tórshavn. Frú Petra Djurhuus, Tórshavn; Robert Joensen, kommunuskrivari, Klaksvík. Chr. Matras, professari, dr. phil., Tórshavn; Arnbjørn Mortensen, rektari, Tórshavn; Bjarni Niclasen, seminarie-adjunktur, Tórshavn; Páll J. Nolsøe, landsskjalavørður, Tórshavn; Poul Petersen, lagtings-maður, cand jur., Tórshavn; Johannes av Skarði, háskúlalærari, Tórshavn; Arne Thorsteinsson, stud, mag., Tórshavn.


Associate Member: Professor Einar Haugen, Department of Scandinavian Studies, Harvard University, Mass. U.S.A.


Vestmannahavn bird cliffs, Sandoy, Skopun, Sandur, Sandslíð, Húsavík, Dalur, Saxun, Kvívík, Mannafellsdalur, Kollafjörður, Mikines, Kirkjubøur.


Faroese Government, Town Council of Tórshavn, Danish High Commissioner, Faroese Museum.


Adress from the Løgmaður (Hákun Djurhuus).


Distinguished audience, honoured guests!


When I was asked, more than a year ago, whether I, as the Løgmaður of Faroes, would act as patron for the Fifth Viking Congress which was to be held in the Faroes in the summer of 1965, I was grateful to those who had brought it about and said I should be very glad to act as patron.


It was not sure then how big the attendance from abroad would be, for although we certainly lie on one of the routes used by the old vikings, we, nevertheless, do not lie on the usual tourist track. But today we know that the acceptance has been even larger than expected, and never before has such a gathering of scholars visited our shores.


The foundation of our scholarly edifice was laid long ago and material is being prepared here for a part of the building which will stand on that foundation and which, with us as with others. . . if it shall be well built. . . can never really be finished.


With the wish that material to strengthen our scolarly edifice will come forth from this very welcome visit, I hereby declare the Fifth Viking Congress open.


Welcome, our foreign guests, to the Faroes!


Hoydal, July 18, 1965.


Some Words of Welcome (H. D. Joensen)


Harra løgmaður, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen!


On behalf of the Faroese Scientific Society, which, together with the local Government of the Faroes, the Council of Tórshavn, and the Faroese Museum, has invited you to attend the Fifth Viking Congress, it is a great honour and pleasure for me to offer you all a most cordial welcome as guests of our capital, Tórshavn.


I hope you will feel at home in this town, which still bears the name of the god who, for the better part of the period which is your principal field of research, dominated the imagination of the Ancients to such a degree that the most central harbour of these islands was given his name.


And although modern knowledge of more scientific character, also in the sphere of meteorology, has dethroned the old gods, there is no harm — if only out of respect for the past in honour of this Congress and not forgetting to swear in the mistletoe — well, there is no harm in remembering the god Thor respectfully with a silent prayer that he, who a thousand years ago was master of wind and weather, may demonstrate his power so that the sun will shine on our fiords, sounds, and hills, and the Viking-age scholars in his old town cannot only discuss their findings, but also, with this town as a starting-point, travel part of the archipelago, where the chief Tróndur í Gøtu throughout a long life schemed time after time in defence of the god Thor. For no one in these islands can be more mighty than he who is able to calm down storm and sea.


The very place of this Congress is literally a building site. When tuberculosis was finally conquered in these islands, the old sanatorium at this place was converted into a boarding school, and the building we are in now — the future school building — is, as you have seen, still under construction. And when, in the few days to come, you will be moving about this town and, as I hope — favoured by Thor — by fine weather join in the planned excursions, it will inevitably occur to you that you have come to a country where old and new, finished and unfinished, antiquated relics and the latest styles of building and ways of life are chaotically mixed. It will no doubt appear to you that a great part of the country, above all Tórshavn, is an untidy building site; but I think it may be put this way: The landnam of the Faroes has taken place in 2 stages with an interval of about one thousand years.


The original landnamsmen succeeded in surviving in these islands. We, the present inhabitants of the islands, are of the belief that we shall succeed in living here. Not only, as Mr. Eric Linklater once wrote about the Faroe people, that they »have made a fair haven on the windy edge of nothing«, but as a people living on equal terms with their neighbours in fruitful co-operation and interchange with them.


The holding of this Congress should be regarded as a manifestation of a desire on our part for productive co-operation and interchange of ideas within a subject of common concern.


It is a matter of course that the participating scholars want in the first instance to present and discuss their results and problems, but I have understood that at the preceding Congresses great importance was attached to the establishment of personal contacts and insight into each other's conditions of work and research.


We hope the days to come will give you ample opportunities in this respect.


Sailing across the sea and flying through the air, you have come here to this Congress. The trip took you from a few hours to a couple of days. The landmansmen had only the sea and could put their trust in nothing but strong arms and fair wind. To reach these islands could take them weeks, but by fair weather they could - like some of you - make shift with »nætur tvær og dagar tríggjar, fyrrenn hann fekk Foroyar at síggja. « (two nights and three days, until he got to see the Faroes)


Most of us present have approached the islands several times across the sea which the Ancients navigated. And there is no doubt that many of us have time and again, when approaching the islands and seeing them emerge in the distance, tried to experience something of the feelings of the Ancients in the same situation, so beautifully described by Prófessor Brøgger in the preface to his treatise on the Faroese landnam: »to feel inside oneself something of the same warmth which pervaded those, all those who sailed between Norway and Faroes in the past. « But I think that hardly anyone has succeeded. That feeling is difficult to experience when you are standing high on a promenade deck of a modern ship, and your attention is distracted by engine noise, the perpetual background music of our time, and by other blessings of modern technology.


And, nevertheless, we hope we shall succeed in giving you this experience; this strange, fascinating and strong experience which one meets with when, in a low rowing or sailing boat, one approaches the Faroese coast. The feeling of approaching something both monumental and secure, standing out of the sea and being so essentially different from the frail, almost airy, rocking vessel in which one is sitting. This black, steep coast, speckled with the greenest green, and where everything is full of moisture. The strong smell of the sea and seaweed, the sound of the surf, and the piercing screech of the birds. When, from a frail, rocking boat, one sets foot on the wet rock, I think we all feel something of what the Ancients put into the expression »at nema land«: to feel the secure island under one's feet and to take possession of the country.


It is our hope that, when going ashore on the planned excursion to Mikines, you may experience something of this, but everything will, as previously mentioned, depend on the goodwill of Thor.


And it also depends on him whether you will return from a congress which has been profitable to you or not. For, in this erudite assembly of experts, I as a layman venture to remind you that this god, probably the greatest and most frequently invoked god of the Norse men, was the one who, among many other deeds, gave strength in the hour of work.


May I take this opportunity, on behalf of the Organising Committee, to most cordially thank all our hosts and all those who have in some way or other assisted us in arranging this Congress.


We hope that, between us, we shall succeed in giving you a good time in our country.


Viking Congresses Introductory Words (Dag Strömbäck)


Since I am one of the »original Vikings«, so to speak, I have the honour and pleasure of saying a few introductory words on Viking Congresses, how they originated and how the idea of gathering scholars together to look at Viking problems has been so successfully put into practice.


But first of all, let me say how happy we are to be here and how much we appreciate coming to the Faroes, a centre in the Viking world. The friendly atmosphere here and the immensely impressive surroundings stir us already with real inspiration and make us think this fifth Viking Congress will be a perfect success.


I think that eight members of this Congress were present in Lerwick in Shetland in July 1950 when the first Viking Congress started. From Britain Stewart Cruden, Edinburgh, and John Stewart, Shetland-Aberdeen, from Ireland Séamus O'Duilearga, from Norway Eyvind Fjeld Halvorsen, Oslo, and Per Thorson, Bergen, from the Faroes Christian Matras, and from Sweden Åsa Nyman and myself.


The idea of bringing together a representative team of scholars from the United Kingdom, from Ireland, from Scandinavia and Iceland emanated from Aberdeen University and the British Council in Aberdeen.


At first the main theme for such a congress was the impact of Norse culture upon Scotland and the Scottish islands considered under different aspects: geographical, antiquarian, historical, social, economic, and literary. This Scoto-Scandinavian programme was quite soon widened, however, and I think we could now say that in its programme the Viking Congress embraces all questions concerning the Viking Age and its culture, but it limits itself geographically to the area of the North Atlantic from Ireland to Scandinavia and Iceland. And it still keeps up the tradition of being a conference of only a selected number of scholars — which I think is a great advantage. You often feel on your own in these big international congresses, divided into all sorts of sections, and personal contact is very scarce — if there is any at all! In Shetland we looked on ourselves, being about 40, just as a big Viking family although without children — unless we counted Douglas Simpson's daughter Anne as our child.


I mentioned Aberdeen University and Aberdeen as the place from which the idea of the Viking Congress emanated. Until 1962 Aberdeen had a splendid leader in Sir Thomas Taylor, whom we all remember with deep gratitude and warm feelings. Sir Thomas was keenly interested in Scandinavian matters and found it quite natural that his university should sponsor the academic side of the programme while the British Council looked after the administrative side. Thus a working committee was formed in 1949—50, which consisted of Dr Douglas Simpson and Professor Andrew O'Dell from the University and Mr A. C. Davis from the British Council in Aberdeen. The conference was baptized by Eric Linklater and got the name of Viking Congress. And after all the preliminaries and all the hard labour of the Organising Committee, the Congress was held in those hospitable places, Lerwick in Shetland and Kirkwall in Orkney. It was a great success!


Just a few personal memories from this first Viking Congress.


The most ardent Viking among the Scandinavians was perhaps Dr Oskar Lundberg of Uppsala, librarian at the University Library there. He had stayed earlier in Aberdeen as a visiting librarian and was a really strong connecting link between Aberdeen and Sweden. This amiable gentleman, who died in 1956, was in his learning and appearance a sort of compromise between Dr Samuel Johnson and Mr Pickwick. Dr Lundberg was an ardent sailor and turned up at the Congress dressed in a very fine white sailor uniform wearing the badge of rank of a commodore — and we usually called him the Admiral. He also had his own drink, the Librarian's mixture, which he generously offered his fellow Vikings — and became, of course, enormously popular, also because of that. In a learned paper given at the Congress he talked about taboo phenomena in language, and particularly about taboo and noa-words in the Shetland fishermen's sea language.


In Lerwick we had especially looked forward to meeting Professor A. W. Brøgger of Oslo. He had, as you know, written so much on the ancient connections between Norway and Shetland. But because of illness he could not come. Another Norwegian lion, however, came in his place and that was Professor Haakon Shetelig of Bergen. He was then over 70 years old, but he was just like a young free student on holiday, always in high spirits, eager to learn and comment upon everything of historical or archeological interest. When night came, he was engaged in long discussions in some pub in Lerwick or in the Bruce Hostel, where we all lived. I don't think he ever slept in Shetland — except during some long lectures, especially lectures with slides! In that case, however, he did not miss anything essential but could comment as vividly as ever upon the question in the following discussion! His intellect could never be put in a lower gear! At the second Viking Congress in Bergen in 1953 some of us met this brilliant scholar again, but now he was in hospital, his bed surrounded by books, and he himself deep in thoughts and ponderings about new research methods and scholarly problems. His spirit was unbroken to the end.


Another remarkable »Viking« was Dr Hugh Marwick of Orkney. At the first Congress he met us in Shetland, gave us two lectures there on the Norse colonization of Orkney and took us on the last day to Kirkwall where the Congress was to end. What he did not know about Orkney was not worth knowing. His knowledge was most exact and clear. What particularly interested him and became his main field of research was the Norse language in its Orcadian form: the Orkney Norn. And within this field not only the fragments of Norse still preserved in Orkney's Scottish dialect interested him but also the thousands of place-names of Norwegian origin scattered around the whole area of the Orkney Islands. These place-names, carefully scrutinized, tell us so much about the islanders' origins, their forefathers' settlements, their administration, their farming and fishing and many other things — and to these names Dr Marwick devoted most of his time and interest.


I think that Hugh Marwick's book on Orkney Norn and all his books and papers on Orcadian place-names will give him a place of rank in the world of learning similar to the one Jakob Jakobsen now enjoys, this famous Faroese scholar whose works have been of such decisive importance for the study of Shetland Norn and Shetland place-names and, last but not least, for the study of Faroese language, literature and folklore.


We miss Dr Marwick — a friend to the idea behind our gatherings and an active member of the first, second and fourth Congress.


Other good and learned »Vikings« who have passed away and whom we remember from the first Congress with much admiration were Dr A. O. Curie, Director of the National Museum of Antiquities of Scotland, Professor Croft Dickinson of Edinburgh University, Dr Gordon Childe of the Archeological Institute in London and Dr F. T. Wainwright of University College, Dundee. But to tell you what each of these scholars meant to us through their contributions to the Congress would make a short speech much too long. I should only like to say that it was a fascinating experience to be conducted by Dr Curie through the ruins of Jarlshof on the southern tip of the Shetland Mainland and by Dr Childe through the mysterious winding passages in the Stone Age village at Skara Brae in Orkney Mainland.


Lerwick and Shetland, Kirkwall and Orkney were in the limelight in Great Britain during that fortnight in July 1950. We were favoured by wind and weather and profited greatly from the hospitality and kindness shown to us by the islanders and their administrative leaders.


The second Viking Congress in Bergen in September 1953 was also a great success. It was quite natural that Norway should be the next place for such a congress — Norway the motherland for these pioneers who settled down in Shetland and Orkney and Scotland from the ninth century onwards. The organisation, which was in the hands of Professor Johs. Bøe, was also excellent at that Congress and we were lucky with the weather during our excursions to the old meeting place for the Gulathing and to Lyse and other places to the south of Bergen. From Scotland came the old Viking team lead by Principal Taylor of Aberdeen, and from Iceland, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden there came many good Vikings to join their Norwegian colleagues. It was great fun to meet again — to remember and to renew old acquaintances.


I am sorry to say that I missed the third Viking Congress in 1956. I was in Iceland in June that year but could not stay on until the latter part of July when the Congress took place in Reykjavik. I know, however, from people who attended the Congress, that the traditions of Shetland and Bergen were kept up in a splendid way and that to participants who had not been there before Iceland was a veritable revelation.


And so the fourth Congress was held in York in August 1961. In this old historic city encircled by a wall with foundations from the Roman period and centred upon one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the world, we spent two happy weeks with lectures and discussions, demonstrations and excursions and many nice parties. I think we shall never forget the dinner in the medieval Merchant Taylors' Hall or the Lord Mayor's reception — a reception where we met a Lord Mayor whose interest in Viking antiquities was equal to ours.


This Congress was organised from Aberdeen in conjunction with the Universities of Leeds, Sheffield and Hull, and we felt also here the strong impress of Principal Taylor's warm and active spirit. None of us could imagine that this would be his last Viking Congress. He looked very vigorous and took part in all the excursions. Professor O'Dell and Mr Small — the latter a member of this Congress — had to do most of the daily and hard work for the York Congress, and together with Sir Thomas they also laid plans for future congresses.


When I met my very good friend and fellow Viking Professor Christian Matras in York in 1961 his first question to me was: »Where do you think the place is where Egill Skallagrímsson met Eiríkr Bloodaxe and Queen Gunnhild?« So eager was he that there was no time for saying »how do you do« or »hej« or anything like that! To an ardent scholar familiar with the old Norse literature from the Viking period this was the first and most urgent question in old Jórvík. This was by far more important than saying trivial things about health and weather! I do appreciate such quest for wisdom — but I regret that he could not get it from me! If I am allowed to make a confession I must say that my first question to my learned friend Peter Foote when we yesterday came by plane and watched the islands under us was: »Where is the place where the Faroese hero Sigmundr Brestisson was killed 965 years ago?« And he knew it!


Yes – here we are, old and young »Vikings«. And we are all full of desire to learn everything about these marvellous islands' history, their remains and antiquities, their language and folklore and literature.

Congress Diary:

(Maud Heinesen)


Sunday, 18th July.

The members gathered at 11 o'clock in the Church of Tórshavn to attend a Congress Service conducted by the Bishop of the Faroes, Very Rev. J. Joensen.


In the afternoon the official opening of the Congress took place in the great hall of the Studentaskúlin at Hoydalir where all meetings were held. Here some 200 people listened to the opening address from the patron of the Congress, Løgmaður Hákun Djurhuus, who extended a hearty welcome to 'the Vikings of our time'. On behalf of the Organising Committee the Chairman, Dr. H. D. Joensen, addressed the audience, and Professor Dag Strömbäck gave a very interesting survey of the previous meetings of the Viking Congress.


At 7 p.m. the Løgmaður gave a dinner at Hotel Føroyar, at which he and Professor Per Thorsen spoke, and absent friends were remembered by telegram. After dinner the members took part in the Faroese chain-dance.


Monday, 19th July.

Professor Dag Strömbäck took the chair at the morning session. Dr. H. D. Joensen read the financial statement, and Dr. Jakob Benediktsson gave a paper on Traces of Latin Prose-Rhythm in Old Norse Literature'. The chairman at the afternoon session was Professor Peter Foote. There were three lectures — Robert B. K. Stevenson on 'The Brooch from Westness, Orkney', Hans Bekker-Nielsen on 'The Victorines and Their Influence on Old Norse Literature', and C. L. Vebæk on 'The Church Topography of the Medieval Norse East Settlement in Greenland'.


Tuesday, 20th July.

Per Fett presided at the morning session, which consisted of two lectures — Aslak Liestøl who spoke on 'The Maeshowe Runes; Some New Interpretations', and Alan Small on 'A Viking Longhouse in Unst, Shetland'.


According to the programme arrangements had been made for an excursion to Saxun in the afternoon, but as there was clear weather at Vestmannahavn and the most favourable wind for making a boat excursion to the famous bird-cliffs close by, it was decided to seize this opportunity to see these impressive cliffs at close quarters, by sailing close to them in small, open boats, which can only be done on very rare occasions.


Wednesday, 21st July.

Professor Chr. Matras was the chairman at the morning session, which gave the members the opportunity of hearing Professor Per Thorsen on 'Ancient Thurso, a Religious and Judicial Centre', and Professor Valter Jansson who read a paper on 'The Preterite Ending -ddi in Faroese'.


The excursion planned for Sandoy was carried out in spite of fairly heavy rain (in fact the only rain throughout the Congress). Sverri Dahl led the excursion, which brought the members to Skopun, Sandur, Sandslíð, Húsavík and Dalur, and brief lectures were given on the church of Sandur and the only treasure-find so far in the Faroes; on part of the 'Føroyingasaga' relating to Sandslíð; and at Húsavík on the two old settlements, one of which belonged to the famous 'Húsfrúgvin', all by Sverri Dahl, to whom hearty thanks were accorded by Alan Small. At Húsavík, Mr. and Mrs. Samuelsen entertained the members to coffee. One of the boats which brought the Congress members to and from Sandoy was an ambulance boat, and after having left the island it was called back to take a patient to the hospital in Tórshavn! The sea was a bit rough, but all arrived home at last and agreed that the trip had been a most interesting experience and an unforgetable glimpse of everyday life in the Faroes.


Thursday, 22nd July.

This was a full day of lectures. Olaf Olsen gave a long lecture 'On the Question of Viking Pagan Temples' at the morning session, with David M. Wilson in the chair. After lunch, Professor E. F. Halvorsen took his place, and the Congress listened to Professor Chr. Matras lecturing on 'Points of Contact between Shetland and Faroes', Bo Almquist on 'The Viking Beer', and Bjarni Niclasen on 'Some Remarks on the History and Present Day Use of the held', followed by a demonstration of this useful implement in a nearby field.


Friday, 23rd July.

All day excursion by car to Saxun and Kvívík. The first stop was at Mannafellsdalur where Sverri Dahl told the legend associated with this valley. At Kollafjørður the old church was inspected, and the cars then took the members to Saxun where especially the old farmhouse Dúvugarðar aroused the members' interest. Sverri Dahl talked to the Congress, and afterwards all sat down to an alfresco lunch. Kvívík was visited on the return journey. In this village a Viking farm had been excavated, and Sverri Dahl reviewed the excavation. One of the villagers, Grækaris Madsen, welcomed the Congress members, after which all the guests were invited to his home, and also to the presbytery. Professor David Greene returned thanks for the hospitality received which was much appreciated.


Saturday, 24th July.

In the morning Sverri Dahl and Johannes av Skarði showed the members over the Faroese Museum.


C. L. Vebæk took the chair in the afternoon when Alan Binns presented a paper on The Navigation of Viking Ships round the British Isles in Old English and Old Norse Sources', Poul Petersen spoke about 'Motives and Directions of the Viking Expansion', and Egil Bakka placed before the Congress the results of 'Excavations at Ytre Moa, a Deserted Farm of the Viking Age in Árdal, Sogn, Norway'.


In the evening a dinner party was given by the Lord Mayor and Town Council of Tórshavn. The Lord Mayor gave an amusing address, and Prófessor S. O'Duilearga on behalf of the members thanked him and his councillors in well-chosen words.


Sunday, 25 th July.

All day excursion to Mikines by S.S. 'Smiril'. The previous day a school of pilot-whales had been sighted and driven to the village of Miðvágur to be killed. This village was too far away for the members to reach before the killing, and it was decided that the 'Smiril' on its way to Mikines should call at Miðvágur in order that the members could get the opportunity of seeing the whales lying on the beach. Having reached Mikines, the members were ferried ashore in an open boat and then made their way to the excavation of a mediaeval 'prayer-house' and farm site, and had lunch close by in the sun. Sverri Dahl gave a brief lecture on the site, and Stewart Cruden returned thanks. The stay on Mikines was to everybody's regret all too short.


Monday, 26th July.

After a free morning the members gathered in the afternoon to hear Per Fett lecturing on 'Acoustics in Hakonshallen', and Stewart F. Sanderson on 'Haaf Net or Heave Net; a Contribution to the Study of Northern Cultural Connections'. Dr. Jakob Benediktsson was in the chair. Later on the members attended a specially arranged film show of Faroese films.


It should be mentioned that at dinner in the evening, Professor Einar Haugen paid a warm tribute to the kitchen staff and especially to the cook, Mrs. Elisabeth Joensen.


Tuesday, 27th July.

Before the morning session, at which Professor David Greene presided, the Congress photo was taken. The members then gathered to hear Dr. Sverre Marstrander talk 'About the Origin of the Gripping Beast Style', and Arne Thorsteinsson about 'Pierovall'. Professor Valter Jansson was in the chair in the afternoon when John Stewart addressed the Congress on 'Place Names of a Shetland Island — Fetlar', Helen C. Nisbet read a paper called 'Some-thing about North Rona', and Sverri Dahl gave a lecture on 'Kirkjubøur, the Mediaeval Bishop's Palace' which was an excellent introduction to the subsequent trip to Kirkjubøur with its mediaeval monuments. The Congress Supper, at which Professor Chr. Matras was the principal speaker, was held in the mediaeval 'roykstova', which provided a remarkable and appropriate setting.


Wednesday, 28th July.

This was the last day of the Congress. After the Financial Statement by Dr. H. D. Joensen, Professor Peter Foote closed the Congress with a very inspiring speech. Before leaving the Congress hall the members agreed that the next Viking Congress should be held in Uppsala in 1968.


On July 28th occurs annually the celebration of 'Ólavssøka', the National Festival, in which the members had been invited to join. In the afternoon the Faroese Government entertained the members to a reception, and in the evening the Danish High Commissioner gave an informal supper party at his home.


Over the next few days the members took their leave of the Faroes, and it was the unanimous opinion of all those who took part that the Fifth Viking Congress had been an outstanding success.

Congress Proceedings:

The Fifth Viking Congress. Tórshavn, July 1965. Ed. Bjarni Niclasen. Føroya Landsstýri, Tórshavnar Býráð, Føroya Fróðskaparfelag, Føroya Fornminnissavn. Tórshavn 1968.



Members of the Congress.

1 Diary of the Congress, by Maud Heinesen. 1
2 Address from the Løgmaður, by Hákun Djurhuus. 6
3 Some Words of Welcome, by H. D. Joensen. 7
4 Viking Congress, Introductory Words, by Dag Strömbäck. 11

Traces of Latin prose-rhythm in Old Norse Literature,

by Jakob Benediktsson.



6 The Brooch from Westness, Orkney, by Robert B. K. Stevenson. 25
7 The Victorines and Their Influence on Old Norse Literature, by Hans Bekker-Nielsen.




The Church Topography of the Medieval North East Settlement in Greenland, by C. L. Vebæk.



9 The Maeshowe Runes. Some New Interpretations, by Aslak Liestøl. 55
10 A Viking Longhouse in Unst, Shetland, by Alan Small. 62
11 Ancient Thurso, a Religious and Judicial Centre, by Per Thorson. 71
12 The Preterite Ending -ddi in Faroese, by Valter Jansson. 78
13 On the Question of Viking Pagan Temples, by Olaf Olsen. 90
14 Points of Contact between Shetland and Faroes, by Chr. Matras. 91
15 The Viking Beer, by Bo Almqvist. 96

Some Remarks on the Present-Day Use of the »held«,

by Bjarni Niclasen.



17 Speech of Welcome at the Museum, by Johannes av Skarði. 100


The navigation of viking ships round the British Isles in Old English

and Old Norse sources, by Alan Binns.




Motives and Directions of the Viking Expansion, by Poul Petersen.

20 Ytre Moa, by Egil Bakka. 124
21 Acoustics in Håkonshallen, by Per Fett. 127
22 Haaf-net or Have-net, by Stewart F. Sanderson. 133
23 On the »Gripping-Beast« Style and Its Origin, by Sverre Marstrander. 141

The Viking Burial Place at Pierowall, Westray, Orkney,

by Arne Thorsteinsson.



25 Place-Names of Fetlar, by John Stewart. 174
26 Something about North Rona, by Helen C. Nisbet. 186
27 Kirkjubøur, by Sverri Dahl. 187
28 Valedictory, by Peter Foote. 193