The Sagas of Icelanders
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Presents a collection of Viking "sagas" to commemorate the adventures of the people who first settled Iceland, and then explored Greenland and North America.
In Iceland, the age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age. A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world’s great literary treasures – as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled in Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west to Greenland and, ultimately, North America. Sailing as far from the archetypal heroic adventure as the long ships did from home, the Sagas are written with psychological intensity, peopled by characters with depth, and explore perennial human issues like love, hate, fate and freedom.
The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres - including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights - are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders is powerfully evoked. The first general study of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga to be written in English for some decades, the Introduction is based on up-to-date scholarship and engages with current debates in the field. With suggestions for further reading, detailed information about the Icelandic literary canon, and a map of medieval Iceland, this book is aimed at students of medieval literature and assumes no prior knowledge of Scandinavian languages.
Combining an accessible approach with innovative scholarship, An Introduction to the Sagas of Icelanders provides up-to-date perspectives on a unique medieval literary genre that has fascinated the English-speaking world for more than two centuries. Carl Phelpstead draws on historical context, contemporary theory, and close reading to deepen our understanding of Icelandic saga narratives about the island's early history. Phelpstead explores the origins and cultural setting of the genre, demonstrating the rich variety of oral and written source traditions that writers drew on to produce the sagas. He provides fresh, theoretically informed discussions of major themes such as national identity, gender and sexuality, and nature and the supernatural, relating the Old Norse-Icelandic texts to questions addressed by postcolonial studies, feminist and queer theory, and ecocriticism. He then presents readings of select individual sagas, pointing out how the genre's various source traditions and thematic concerns interact. Including an overview of the history of English translations that shows how they have been stimulated and shaped by ideas about identity, and featuring a glossary of critical terms, this book is an essential resource for students of the literary form. A volume in the series New Perspectives on Medieval Literature: Authors and Traditions, edited by R. Barton Palmer and Tison Pugh
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include religion, housing, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and the early history of Iceland. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
A collection of essays on Icelandic sagas from the middle ages, which concern the earliest period of Icelandic history. Includes references.
This volume is the first book-length study of masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders. Spanning the entire corpus of the Sagas of Icelanders—and taking into account a number of little-studied sagas as well as the more well-known works—it comprehensively interrogates the construction, operation, and problematization of masculinities in this genre. Men and Masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders elucidates the dominant model of masculinity that operates in the sagas, demonstrates how masculinities and masculine characters function within these texts, and investigates the means by which the sagas, and saga characters, may subvert masculine dominance. Combining close literary analysis with insights drawn from sociological theories of hegemonic and subordinated masculinities, notions of homosociality and performative gender, and psychoanalytic frameworks, the book brings to men and masculinities in saga literature the same scrutiny traditionally brought to the study of women and femininities. Ultimately, the volume demonstrates that masculinity is not simply glorified in the sagas, but is represented as being both inherently fragile and a burden to all characters, masculine and non-masculine alike.
Andersson introduces readers to the development of the Icelandic sagas between 1180 and 1280, a crucial period that witnessed a gradual shift of emphasis from tales of adventure and personal distinction to the analysis of politics and history.
In this stimulating and reliable introduction to the Icelandic saga, Peter Hallberg correctly designates the genre as "Scandinavia's sole, collective original contribution to world literature." These prose narratives dating from the thirteenth century are characterized by a psychological realism which sets them apart from all other contemporary forms of European literature. Mr. Hallberg's emphasis is on the branch of saga literature which deals with the native heroes--with the settlement of Iceland by Norse chieftains and with the lives of these settlers and their descendants. After disposing of the controversial "free-prose" theory of the origin and transmission of these stories, the author treats such problems as style and character portrayal, dreams and destinies, values and ideals, humor and irony. Several of the major sagas are studied in some detail. The concluding discussion concerns the decline of saga writing and the role played by the Sagas in modern Scandinavian life and literature. Paul Schach's introduction and copious annotation furnish additional background material and bibliographical references to English translations of the individual sagas and to significant studies on the major problems of saga research. Although intended primarily for the layman, The Icelandic Saga is of value to the specialist since it judiciously evaluates and incorporates the revolutionary findings of the so-called "Icelandic school" of saga study.
The last fifty years have seen a significant change in the focus of saga studies, from a preoccupation with origins and development to a renewed interest in other topics, such as the nature of the sagas and their value as sources to medieval ideologies and mentalities. The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials. This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.
Please note that the content of this book primarily consists of articles available from Wikipedia or other free sources online. Pages: 32. Chapters: Atla saga Otryggssonar, Bandamanna saga, Baroar saga Snaefellsass, Berg orshvoll, Bjarnar saga Hitd lakappa, Bolli Bollason, Bolli orleiksson, Droplaugarsona saga, Egils saga, Eyrbyggja saga, Finnboga saga ramma, Fljotsdaela saga, Floamanna saga, Fostbr ora saga, Gisla saga, Greenland saga, Grettis saga, Gull- oris saga, Gunnars saga Keldugnupsfifls, Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu, Hallfreoar saga, Haroar saga ok Holmverja, Havaroar saga Isfiroings, Heioarviga saga, Hrafnkels saga, Hrana saga hrings, Haensna- oris saga, Islenzk fornrit, Kjalnesinga saga, Kormaks saga, Kroka-Refs saga, Laurentius Saga, Laxdaela saga, Ljosvetninga saga, Mooruvallabok, Njals saga, Olkofra attr, Reykdaela saga ok Viga-Skutu, Saga Age, Saga of Erik the Red, Svarfdaela saga, Valla-Ljots saga, Vapnfiroinga saga, Vatnsdaela saga, Viga-Glums saga, Viglundar saga, Vinland sagas, orsteins saga hvita, orsteins saga Siou-Hallssonar, oroar saga hreou. Excerpt: Hrafnkels saga ( listen) or Hrafnkels saga Freysgooa (.)) is one of the Icelanders' sagas. It tells of struggles between chieftains and farmers in the east of Iceland in the 10th century. The eponymous main character, Hrafnkell, starts out his career as a fearsome duelist and a dedicated worshiper of the god Freyr. After suffering defeat, humiliation, and the destruction of his temple, he becomes an atheist. His character changes and he becomes more peaceful in dealing with others. After gradually rebuilding his power base for several years, he achieves revenge against his enemies and lives out the rest of his life as a powerful and respected chieftain. The saga has been interpreted as the story of a man who arrives at the conclusion that the true basis of power does not lie in the favor of the gods but in the loyalty of o
Byock sees the crucial element in the origin of the Icelandic sagas not as the introduction of writing or the impact of literary borrowings from the continent but the subject of the tales themselves - feud. This simple thesis is developed into a thorough examination of Icelandic society and feud, and of the narrative technique of recounting it.
Comic Sagas and Tales brings together the very finest Icelandic stories from the thirteenth to the fifteenth centuries, a time of civil unrest and social upheaval. With feuding families and moments of grotesque violence, the sagas see such classic mythological figures as murdered fathers, disguised beggars, corrupt chieftains and avenging sons do battle with axes, words and cunning. The tales, meanwhile, follow heroes and comical fools through dreams, voyages and religious conversions in medieval Iceland and beyond. Shaped by Iceland's oral culture and their conversion to Christianity, these stories are works of ironic humour and stylistic innovation.
Written around the thirteenth century AD by Icelandic monks, the seven tales collected here offer a combination of pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics. They take as their subjects figures who are heroic, but do not fit into the mould of traditional heroes. Some stories concern characters in Iceland - among them Hrafknel's Saga, in which a poor man's son is murdered by his powerful neighbour, and Thorstein the Staff-Struck, which describes an ageing warrior's struggle to settle into a peaceful rural community. Others focus on the adventures of Icelanders abroad, including the compelling Audun's Story, which depicts a farmhand's pilgrimage to Rome. These fascinating tales deal with powerful human emotions, suffering and dignity at a time of profound transition, when traditional ideals were gradually yielding to a more peaceful pastoral lifestyle.
Glossary of nicknames and names of weapons:p.449-55.
Composed at the end of the fourteenth century by an unknown author, The Saga of Grettir the Strong is one of the last great Icelandic sagas. It relates the tale of Grettir, an eleventh-century warrior struggling to hold on to the values of a heroic age becoming eclipsed by Christianity and a more pastoral lifestyle. Unable to settle into a community of farmers, Grettir becomes the aggressive scourge of both honest men and evil monsters - until, following a battle with the sinister ghost Glam, he is cursed to endure a life of tortured loneliness away from civilisation, fighting giants, trolls and berserks. A mesmerising combination of pagan ideals and Christian faith, this is a profoundly moving conclusion to the Golden Age of the saga writing.
The Saga of Gisli was written early in the thirteenth century. It offers an imaginative reconstruction of the story of a man and his family who came to Iceland from Norway about AD 960. Soon after 960 Gisli, the central figure, was outlawed for killing his brother-in-law, and then, for thirteen years or more, he lived in hiding in remote parts of the northwest of Iceland until he was finally caught and killed by his enemies. Around this imaginative core the author has spun a web of conflicting passions - love, hare and jealousy between man and wife, brother and sister, brother-in-law - intricate emotional bonds which are here seen ironically patterned against a background of inevitable fate. Gisli, the hero, is portrayed not only as a man of strength and courage, but also a poet and dreamer, tormented in his outlawry by nightmarish visions which seem gradualy to sap his will to resist. The author's probing into the emotional depths of his characters, the superbly effective architecture of his narrative leading to the central climax, his sense of the dramatic, and his cool, compelling style all combine to make this one of the most memorable of all the Icelandic sagas.