The conceptual parallel between monster slaying and healing.

This paper seeks evidence among our extensive Scandinavian mythological texts for an areawhich they seldom discuss explicitly: the conceptualisation and handling of illness and healing. Itscore evidence is two runic texts (the Canterbury Rune-Charm and the Sigtuna Amulet) which con-ceptualise illness as a urs (ogre, monster). The article discusses the semantics of urs , arguingthat illness and supernatural beings could be conceptualised as identical in medieval Scandinavia.This provides a basis for arguing that myths in which gods and heroes fight monsters provided a paradigm for the struggle with illness. The article proceeds, more speculatively, to use the Eddaic poem Skrnisml and the Finnish Riiden synty as the basis for arguing that one cause of illnesscould be the transgression of moral norms.