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Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 13-28)
av Lars Walløe
SammendragEngelsk sammendrag

Moderne pest nådde Hongkong i 1894. Sykdomsårsaken ble påvist å være bakterien Yersinia pestis, som ble overført til mennesker fra svarte rotter (Rattus rattus) ved hjelp av rotteloppen Xenopsylla cheopis. Historikere har senere forutsatt denne smittemodellen når de har behandlet middelalderens pestepidemier i Europa. De siste 25 år har biologer og nylig også en historiker utfordret denne forståelsen. De hevder at de historiske pestepidemiene må ha vært en helt annen sykdom enn moderne pest. I den foreliggende artikkelen blir dagens kunnskap om moderne pest og nyere forsøk på å karakterisere smittestoff fra lik fra tidligere tiders pestgraver presentert og diskutert. Konklusjonen er at middelalderens pestepidemier også var forårsaket av Yersinia pestis, men at rotter ikke kan ha vært ansvarlige for smitteoverføringen.

Were medieval plagues the same disease as modern plague?

In his book The Black Death Transformed, the historian Samuel Cohn claims that the epidemic disease described in Western European historical sources from AD 1347 to the mid-17th century under the name pestis and similar terms must have been a disease other than the modern plague that reached Hong Kong in 1894. The disease was shown to be caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and, some years later, the most likely transmission route was found to be from the black rat to humans via the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis. Cohn’s main arguments are that: 1) there is a complete lack of evidence of the involvement of rats and rat fleas in late-medieval/early-modern plagues, and 2) the speed of transmission is different. Medieval plagues spread rapidly, whereas the spread of modern plague has been slow. However, during the past ten years scientists have found traces of Yersinia pestis DNA in dental pulp from medieval plague victims. It has also recently been shown that fleas other than Xenopsylla cheopis can be efficient transmitters of plague. The obvious candidate in all northern European countries is the human flea Pulex irritans, which in earlier times could be found in large numbers, and not just in beds, but also in thick layers of clothing. This has led to the conclusion that: 1) most or all late medieval and early modern «plague» epidemics were caused by Yersinia pestis, 2) few if any of the historical European plague epidemics involved rats as intermediate host. The mode of transmission was from human to human via an insect vector. Pulex irritans may have been the most important arthropod vector in Europe prior to the late 19th century, but other ectoparasites (other fleas, lice, etc.) could also have been involved.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 29-44)
av Anne Karin Hufthammer og Lars Walløe
SammendragEngelsk sammendrag

Artikkelen diskuterer den mulige utbredelsen av svart rotte i Norge i middelalderen og tidlig nytid. Både fysiologisk og adferdsøkologisk er svart rotte dårlig tilpasset liv i kaldt klima. Arkeologisk er bein av svart rotte bare påvist i kystbyene Bergen, Stavanger, Tønsberg, Oslo og Trondheim, og selv der bare i en liten del av utgravningene, mens andre små dyr er godt representert. Bein av rotte er ikke funnet ved utgravninger i Hamar eller i landdistrikter. Konklusjonen må bli at svart rotte ikke kan ha vært ansvarlig for spredning av pestepidemier over landdistriktene i Norge.

On the distribution of rats in Norway in medieval and early modern times. Could rats have been a vector species for the transmission of plague?

This paper discusses the introduction of the black rat (Rattus rattus) to Norway, and its distribution and population density. The study is based on older zoological literature, knowledge of rat ecology and physiology and, in particular, bone samples from archaeological excavations. Physiologically and ecologically, it is highly unlikely that the black rat could ever have lived in Norway outside heated houses. It is probably extinct in Norway now and has been rare in Scandinavia for at least 200–300 years. The oldest radiocarbon date from Norway (AD 1168–1276) is from Bergen. A slightly younger find (AD 1225–1385) from Tønsberg contains bones from both young and adult rats, probably from a nest, and proves that the black rat bred in Tønsberg in the Middle Ages. Other finds indicate that it also bred in Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim. Only a few archaeological finds from these medieval towns contain large numbers of rat bones (the majority contain none), indicating a patchy distribution. Furthermore, the species is relatively rare in archaeological finds compared to other vertebrates of similar size, suggesting that black rat population density was never high in these Norwegian towns. There are no finds of black rat from the many archaeological excavations in rural areas, from the Viking Age trade centre Kaupang, or from the inland town of Hamar. This, combined with the low frequency of black rat finds in medieval towns, should be taken into account when discussing the spread of plague epidemics in the Middle Ages and later. The possibility that the Black Death was brought to the harbour towns of Oslo, Tønsberg, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim by ship rats cannot be excluded, but it is extremely unlikely that rats accounted for the spread of plague to rural areas and inland.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 46-69)
av Bjørnar Mortensen Vik
SammendragEngelsk sammendrag

Artikkelen analyserer vitenskapeliggjøringen av barneoppdragelsen ved å følge kunnskapsproduksjonen til mentalhygienebevegelsen og den framvoksende barnepsykologien. Målsetningen er å problematisere oppfatningen av denne prosessen som en fagintern psykologisk- og pedagogisk suksesshistorie, og en sentral del av analysen er hvordan vitenskapeliggjøringen innebar kunnskapsoverføringer fra allerede etablerte vitenskaper og kunnskaper. En slik analyse trenger et presist begrepsapparat for å beskrive denne typen overføringer, og vi må være oppmerksomme på de særskilte problemer vitenskapeliggjøringen av et normativt felt som barneoppdragelsen innebærer. For å utvikle et slikt analyse- og begrepsapparat låner jeg fra den franske epistemologien, særlig Georges Canguilhem, og forsøker å tilpasse dette til den aktuelle konteksten.

Mental hygiene and child psychology: scientification of the upbringing of children in Norway 1910–1950

This analysis of knowledge derived from the literature produced within the Mental Hygiene Movement and early Child Psychology in Norway describes the processes through which the upbringing of children became established as a scientific field. It relies on a theoretical and methodological framework consisting of central elements from the French epistemological school of the history of science; in particular, elements from Georges Canguilhem. Reflecting on the results of this investigation indicates that the metaphors and concepts disseminating knowledge about the upbringing of children and the organising of families were transformed during the period. It seems as if the Mental Hygiene Movement depends on imported metaphors from, for example, bacteriology and genetics. While this in part can be explained by the fact that their problematic focal point is society as a whole, it may also indicate a process of knowledge transfer initiated by the Mental Hygiene Movement and stabilised within a set of concepts in Child Psychology. Through a shift in focus from social to individual problematics, key concepts within the knowledge of the upbringing of children are transformed and a new object of science – the upbringing of children – is constituted.

Vitenskapelig publikasjon
(side 71-92)
av Yngve Nilsen
SammendragEngelsk sammendrag

Den norske landskapsarkitekten Knut Ove Hillestad var ansatt ved Norges Vassdrags- og Elektrisitetsvesen, NVE, i årene 1963–1991. I denne perioden ledet han utformingen av landskap etter vassdragsutbygging. Hans rettesnor for denne virksomheten var å etterlate såkalt «levende natur», natur som hadde vært utsatt for menneskelige inngrep, men som var artsrik og reproduktiv. Artikkelen vil ta for seg hvordan denne tankegangen ble til, hvordan den ble utbredt og hvordan den ble institusjonalisert. Et sentralt tema i den forbindelse er Hillestads overgang fra å være utøver av én profesjon til å koordinere en prosjektorganisasjon, hvor mange logikker skulle forenes.

Were medieval plagues the same disease as modern plague?

In his book The Black Death Transformed, the historian Samuel Cohn claims that the epidemic disease described in Western European historical sources from AD 1347 to the mid-17th century under the name pestis and similar terms must have been a disease other than the modern plague that reached Hong Kong in 1894. The disease was shown to be caused by the bacterium Yersinia pestis, and, some years later, the most likely transmission route was found to be from the black rat to humans via the rat flea Xenopsylla cheopis. Cohn’s main arguments are that: 1) there is a complete lack of evidence of the involvement of rats and rat fleas in late-medieval/early-modern plagues, and 2) the speed of transmission is different. Medieval plagues spread rapidly, whereas the spread of modern plague has been slow. However, during the past ten years scientists have found traces of Yersinia pestis DNA in dental pulp from medieval plague victims. It has also recently been shown that fleas other than Xenopsylla cheopis can be efficient transmitters of plague. The obvious candidate in all northern European countries is the human flea Pulex irritans, which in earlier times could be found in large numbers, and not just in beds, but also in thick layers of clothing. This has led to the conclusion that: 1) most or all late medieval and early modern «plague» epidemics were caused by Yersinia pestis, 2) few if any of the historical European plague epidemics involved rats as intermediate host. The mode of transmission was from human to human via an insect vector. Pulex irritans may have been the most important arthropod vector in Europe prior to the late 19th century, but other ectoparasites (other fleas, lice, etc.) could also have been involved.

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