By Bertha Surtees Phillpotts
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print Publication Year:2010
Online Publication Date:April 2012
Original Publication Year:1913
Subjects: Social and population history , Sociology of race and ethnicity
Bertha S. Phillpotts (1863–1932) was an English historian and linguist of Scandinavia who served as the Director of Scandinavian Studies in the University of Cambridge from 1926 to 1932. First published as part of Cambridge Archaeological and Ethnological Series in 1913, this pioneering and highly influential book contains a detailed examination of kinship structures in northern Europe during the early medieval period. In this work, Phillpotts analyses the laws and literature of seven northern European countries to explore the kinship structure of their ancient societies. The references to the legal concept of 'weregild' and the description of gender hierarchies, together with the range of evidence examined, cause this work to remain of considerable relevance for the understanding of kinship systems in medieval Germanic and Scandinavian societies.