Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 16

Hierophanies in the Vinland Sagas: Images of a New World

Aidan Foster


The fabled land of Vinland is mentioned in legends. Described as a place of immense natural wealth with abundant pastures, wild grapes, self-sown wheat and rivers and lakes full of salmon, one gains the impression of an earthly paradise where all wants could be met. This paper asks whether the Viking settlement at L’Anse aux Meadows (Newfoundland, Canada) could be considered a sacred space, as delineated by the twentieth century religious historian Mircea Eliade. In his research into hierophanies, a feature of his definition of sacred space, Eliade documents the widespread use of vines as a hierophany, suggesting that the presence of vines in the Vinland Sagas may not be literal but used as a metaphor for something symbolically more significant.

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