University Museum of Bergen

Fragments of the Past

People living in Bergen in the Middle Ages loved entertainment and good literature, and a glass or two. At the same time the church warned of judgment day after death. By setting out on a pilgrimage, one could make up for one’s sins and see the world.

Main content

On Tuesday 7 February at 13.00, it is all set for the opening of the third part of the exhibition project Fragments of the Past. It presents the most recent findings of Middle Age research through exhibition and lectures. The Middle Age exhibition Fragments of the Past presents two new themes; Sagas and Saga Writing and Penance and Remission.
The exhibition is shown in the Cultural History Collections, Haakon Sheteligs pl. 10.

Sagas and Saga Writing

The Norse literature evolved around 1150. It went from being dominated by religious texts to embrace the greater part of kings’ sagas to the adventures of French knights. From that time on, the written culture of the Middle Ages was first of all characterised by diversity.

Penance and Remission    

In medieval Western Europe, it was the church that sketched out most people’s understanding of life and reality. One had to make up for one’s sins to get to Heaven. With confessions and penitential exercises, including pilgrimages, one’s place in the afterlife was secured.

Themed Lectures Spring 2012

  • Wednesday 29 February at 19.00: Hilde Inntjore: "Eternal Life in this World?"
  • Wednesday 14 March at 18.00 (Please note time change): Torstein Jørgensen: "Penance and Remission – The Wanderings of Pilgrims"
  • Wednesday 28 March at 19.00: Jonas Wellendorf: "A Useful Norse Literature.
  • Wednesday 11 April at 19.00: Else Mundal: "The Saga Authors and Bergen"


All lectures will be held in Norwegian

Fragment of the Past
is a collaborative project among the University of Bergen, the Centre for Medieval Studies (CMS), and the University Museum of Bergen. This is the third and last of the stablemates in the exhibition series with new themes from the Middle Ages and with material from the Museum’s collections. The project is part of one of UiB’s focus areas within medieval research.

Academic responsible
Sagas and saga writing, Professor Else Mundal, CMS, and Assistant professor Jonas Wellendorf, University of California, Berkeley
Academic responsible  – Penance and Remission, Professor Torstein Jørgensen, CMS and the School of Mission and Theology, Stavanger. 
Curator Alf Tore Hommedal, University Museum of Bergen
Exhibition designer Anne Aspen, University Museum of Bergen
Project Manager, Åslaug Ommundsen, CMS