Medieval Riverscapes

Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History (SEAH)

Ellen Arnold, Associate Professor at University of Stavanger, Norway

Currently, drought, devastating floods, and climate insecurity are causing Europeans to pay more acute attention to their rivers. Riverscapes are appearing more and more frequently in the news, as rising rivers wipe out towns and wreak havoc on industries and drought dries up famous rivers. Such changes affect more than transit and economy—they impact cultural imaginations and dredge up long-lost stories. Shrinking rivers reveal mysteries of the past such as the hunger stones of the Danube and sunken warships, and floods touch on old memorial markers. Such dynamic and shifting riverscapes are striking, but not new. In this talk, the author will explore how medieval people understood, interpreted, and responded changing and changeable rivers in their own time, and how their own river stories connected past and present.

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This event is part of the MIT Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History sponsored by the History Faculty and the Program in Science, Technology and Society.
For more information contact kalopes@mit.edu or visit Seminar on Environmental and Agricultural History (SEAH)

This seminar series is sponsored by MIT's History Faculty and Program in Science, Technology, and Society.