Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Comparative Literature


Russell Poole

Second Advisor

Vladimir Tumanov


This thesis focuses on the ‘Island of Bujan’ motif in Russian tradition and studies it with reference to the Yggdrasill myth in Scandinavian tradition. It examines some scholarly claims that state that owing to contacts between the Slavs and the Scandinavians during the early Middle Ages, myths and beliefs may have traversed geographical boundaries. The thesis begins with a detailed account of the proposed interaction between the Slavs and the Scandinavians and includes a brief summary of the Normanist controversy and the evidence that supports and negates it. It then proceeds to study Bujan in Russian incantations and Yggdrasill in the Scandinavian Eddaic texts to define the current state of information on them and to isolate similarities between them. In the process, the thesis also highlights the fragmentariness of the primary material available, which ensures that some questions relating to influence between cultural constructs of the two traditions are left unanswered.



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