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The Twelfth International Saga Conference - 3rd Circular

Bonn/Germany, 28th July – 2nd August 2003



This is the third (and last general) circular regarding the 12th International Saga Conference and shall provide you with information about the preliminary programme for the conference.

The conference will begin on Sunday, 27th July, with registration from 2 – 6 p.m. at the University, at which there will be a small informal reception with light refreshments. The registration office will be set up near the Scandinavian Department in the Western wing ("Kaiserplatz-Wing", nearest to the train and bus stations) of the main building of Bonn University in the former archepiscopal palace. Meetings will commence on Monday morning with the official opening and the first of the plenary lectures.

Papers and discussions will be held on Monday 28th in 2 parallel sessions, on Tuesday 29th, Thursday 31st August and Friday 1st August in three parallel sessions. We intend to finish every day around 6.30 p.m..

On Saturday, 2nd August, the meeting of the General Meeting of the International Saga Society will be held at 9.30, finishing before 12.30 so as to allow those wanting to travel on to leave around lunchtime.

The conference will be organised in 11 workshops connected with the conference theme (A-I and K) and one open workshop (J); currently we stand at over 100 papers, and the four plenary lectures will be given by Geraldine Barnes, Margaret Clunies Ross/Tarrin Wills, Roberta Frank and John McKinnell.

So far, about 220 scholars have sent in their preliminary registrations.



A. The Christianisation of Scandinavia

B. The Early Church in the North

C. Scandinavian Saints

D. Hagiography and the Cult of Saints in Scandinavia

E. The Earliest Writing and Learning in Scandinavia

F. The Transmission of Continental Scholarship and the Renaissance of the 12th Century

G. The Classical Tradition in the North

H. Manuscript Transmission

I. Projects

J. Free Workshop

K. Christian Poetry


Abstracts and Papers

All the abstracts can now be found on the conference homepage under their appropriate workshops.

We shall also place all the papers on the homepage, where you can access them before the conference. In order to do so they should have been submitted before 1st June 2003. We shall try to put all the papers received after 1st June 2003 on the home page as well, if possible, but will not be able to include them in the printed copies of the preprints.

Due to popular demand at the Sydney conference, printed copies will be availiable at the beginning of the conference again, but because of the large number of papers, they will have to be published in 2 volumes (as in Helsingör), but even so they will be rather voluminous. We would therefore like to ask all contributors to limit their written presentation to 10 pages or less.

If you foresee wanting to buy preprints for your libraries or for yourself at the very reasonable price of € 25.00 per set, please state so on the registration form (or by 1st June 2003) so that we can make a reasonable estimate for numbers to be printed.


Conference Languages:

As on previous Saga Conferences, Icelandic, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English, German, French and Italian may be used, although in practise this time all the papers offered are either in English or in one of the Scandinavian languages.


Conference Fees:

(including cold lunches Monday – Friday and the reception on Sunday night):

150 € for full participants

70 € for full time students not presenting a paper

40 € for accompanying persons (accompanying children are free)

if paid before 1st May 2003.

The fee for late registrations/payments will be € 170/80/50.

In case of cancellation, please inform us by 15th July 2003 at the latest. 50% of total fees paid will be refunded. After July 15, regrettably, it will not be possible to make any refund. Cancellations before 1st July: € 50.

Methods of Payment:

a) The preferred method is (to our mutual advantage) by bank transfer directly to our conference account at the:

Deutsche Bank 24 (Bonn, Kaiserplatz branch),
Acc. 065561302 "Saga-Conference"
(BLZ 380 700 24; BIC/SWIFT-Code DEUTDEDB380; IBAN DE74 3807 0024 0065 5613 02).

We would like to ask all EU-participants to use this method of payment as it involves by far the lowest bank charges.

b) Cheques in Euro (made payable to Rudolf Simek: Saga-Conference);

c) Credit card:

Our application for the use of credit cards was rejected by the banks due to insufficient turn-over (!), but with a slighty more cumbersome procedure we have now come to an agreement with a much larger theological convention which is taking place concurrantly with our conference to join their credit card contract. If paying by credit card, please note that you need to tell us in writing or by fax (NOT by email) NOT ONLY the usual information, whether its Visa or Mastercard, name of cardholder, card number and expiry date, BUT ALSO - due to a new rule to improve the security of the transaction - a special 3-digit-security code to your credit card number. You can find this code (named CVV2 or CVC2) as the last three digits on the the signature strip on the backside of your Visa- or Mastercard after the card number at the end. Please also state clearly that your payment is for the Saga Conference, although your bank statement will probably show the SNTS (Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas) as the receiver.

Sorry about these complications, but Germany has a surprising wealth of little rules and obstacles to compete with.


Accompanying Persons

You will also find attached a registration form for accompanying persons (at € 45.00). We shall not have a special programme just for accompanying persons (although they are of course welcome to register for the excursions), but with the numerous sights of Bonn, Cologne and Düsseldorf all within 40 mins public travel, there should be no lack of attractions outside the conference.



As we have informed you before, we have reserved sufficient contingents in several hotels in the center of Bonn, none of them more than c. 7 mins walk from the University (although the homepage of the Bonn booking office lists some further away, too). Rooms have also been reserved in the Bonn youth hostel, which is, however, more than 30 mins walk or a 15 min bus ride (and buses do not run frequently in Bonn!) away. For both types of accomodation, please make your own arrangement using the link provided on the saga conference homepage.

Some of the nearest hotels to the city center and the University are (walking distance to conference venue in mins):

Sternhotel (Sternakzent Hotel President) (Old market square, 3 mins)

Hotel Gross (opposite Beethoven house, 4 mins)

Günnewig Hotel Residence (near station, 3 mins)

Günnewig Hotel Residence (near station, 4 mins)

Königshof (directly on the Rhine,10 mins)

Aigner Hotel garni (central, 10 mins)

Hotel Ibis (nearer to motorway, c. 20 mins)



As stated in the previous circular, travelling to Bonn is easy, as it is on one of the main German railway lines and there are three airports within easy reach: Cologne/Bonn (30 mins by airport bus or 20 by cab), Düsseldorf (45 mins by train) and the international airport at Frankfurt/Main (by train between 81 mins by ICE, changing in Cologne, and 105 mins direct from Bonn). Even the airports at Amsterdam (180 mins by train) or Frankfurt-Hahn (reckon on 120mins plus, by bus and train) are a possibilty.

Please note that for most travellers (unless you get a free flight with your package) it is easier and cheaper to travel from Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) to Bonn by train, as the train station in Bonn is only 4 mins walk from the university and the city center. The train journey from Frankfurt to Bonn costs between 75 and 105 € return, depending on whether you go via Cologne or Koblenz and how long in advance you book. A direct train to Bonn leaves Frankfurt airport every 2 hours at 9.58, 11.58 etc., the journey takes 105 mins.

Bonn/Cologne airport (CGN) has an airport bus (Nr. 670) to the central bus station in Bonn (3 mins walk form the university), the fare is € 5.00 and it runs every 20-30 mins, apart from Sunday nights, when it reverts to 60 min intervals. Please look out for our welcoming parties both at the airport and the train station on Sunday afternoon! A taxi ride from the airport costs c. € 40.00.

Check for cheap flights to Bonn with one of the new budget airlines, especially Germanwings (, which flies to Cologne/Bonn from a dozen European destinations, as does Hapag (, from € 19 (!). Be carefull with other cheap airlines (Ryanair, which take you to Frankfurt-Hahn (no-where near Frankfurt!), which is difficult and somewhat cumbersome to access, especially late at night or early in the morning.

A recent check has shown that even now the cheap flights for July are getting sold out (Rom-Cologne or Vienna-Cologne for the relevant dates are now up to € 59.00 at Germanwings), but at the moment London Stanstead - Cologne is still availiable at € 19.00 on some flights (Germanwings).



Bonn is on the verge between the Atlantic and the continental European climate, and therefore can be both unexpectedly warm as well as wet in summer, with thundery weather not being unusual in August. Just bring light, but waterproof clothing.



On Wednesday, 30th July, we offer three different full-day excursions, and one half-day excursion, the latter avoiding long bus trips apart from an original 20 min bus transfer.

Exkursion 1: The Romans in the provinces: 1,5 hour bus journey to Trier („Rome North of the Alps"), with guided tour of the extensive Roman finds dominating the town, lunch in Trier, visit to Kues, and wine tasting in the Mosel valley, including a local "Vesper" (cold platter). Price: € 65

Excursion 2: The Germanic Female Deities of the Rhinelands. 1 hour bus trip into the volcanic Eifel region to visit two 3rd/4th century sanctuaries to the Germanic matronae (requiring a little gentle cross country walking of max. 20 mins each). Packed lunch. Bus transfer (ca. 50 mins) acroos picturesque tracts of the Eifel to visit the well preserved remains of a Roman Villa at Bad Neuenahr, finishing with wine tasting in the Ahr valley, including a cold "Vesper"; return journey also c. 1 hour bus trip. Price: € 50.00

Excursion 3: Carolingian Aachen and Romanesque Cologne. 1 hour+ bus trip to Aachen, guided tour of the palatial chapel of Charlemagne, short walking tour round Aachen; packed lunch. 50 min. bus trip back to Cologne, and guided walking tour of some highlights among the Romanesque churches of Cologne. Visit of a beer cellar with local "Kölsch". Afterwards, journey back to Bonn by train (20 mins at 20 min intervalls) either as a group or individually, if you prefer to spend more time in Cologne in the evening. Price: € 60.00

Excursion 4 (Half day excursion): Walking tour from Petersberg to Heisterbach and the Rhine. 1 p.m.: Bus transfer to the top of Petersberg (site of the recent Afghanistan Conferences and most political meetings in Germany, with magnificent views over the Rhein valley), 1 hour walking tour to the ruins of former Cistercian abbey at Heisterbach in the Siebengebirge, half hour walk through the Mühlental (valley of mills) to a winery, first mentioned in the 10th century. Wine tasting and cold "Vesper". From there it is only a short walk down to the Rhine, where we shall get back to Bonn by tram (30 mins). Price: € 25.00



The traditional final banquet will be held on board one of the Rhine steamers on Friday night in form of a buffet dinner. We have secured a band made up of former students of Scandinavian at Bonn, who perform both medieval and dance music. We shall start at 7 p.m., go up the Rhine as far as Linz and return to Bonn by ca. 10.00 p.m., although the bar (and the dance floor) on board shall remain open until midnight or later.

Price per person: € 60.- (includes half bottle of wine per person).


Conferences before/after the saga conference:

The International Anglo-Saxonists' Conference (ISAS) will be held in Arizona at the Chaparral Suites Resort, Scottsdale, from 4th-9th August 2003, on Conversion and Colonization; their website is:

Also directly after the Saga Conference, there will be a one-day skaldic meeting in Kiel on reconstruction and deconstruction of skaldic poems, organised by Edith Marold on 4th August 2003.


Please note the following deadlines:

Payment and final registration: 1st May 2003

Papers: 1st June 2003

Orders for printed copies of preprints: 1st June 2003


Enquiries and registrations:

to me:

Prof. Dr. Rudolf Simek
Scandinavian Section, German Department
University of Bonn
Am Hof 1d
D-53113 Bonn/Germany
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fax: +49 228 73 7479, tel. +49 228 73 9010


or our conference secretary:

Sylvia Gärtner, M.A.
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Looking forward to seeing you all in Bonn this summer!

Bonn, March 2003,

Rudy Simek