Download PDF by Rory McTurk: A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture

By Rory McTurk

ISBN-10: 0631235027

ISBN-13: 9780631235026

This significant survey of outdated Norse-Icelandic literature and tradition contains 29 chapters written by way of best students within the box, over a 3rd of whom are Icelanders. while, it conveys a feeling of the mainland Scandinavian origins of the Icelandic humans, and displays the continued touch among Iceland and different nations and cultures.

The quantity highlights present debates between previous Norse-Icelandic students focusing on various facets of the topic. insurance of conventional issues is complemented by way of fabric on formerly ignored components of research, resembling the sagas of Icelandic bishops and the translated knights’ sagas. Chapters on ‘archaeology’, ‘social institutions’ and ‘geography and travel’ give the opportunity to view the literature in its wider cultural context whereas chapters on ‘reception’ and ‘continuity’ exhibit the ways that medieval Norse-Icelandic literature and tradition overflow into the trendy interval.

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Additional resources for A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture

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There are no archaeological sites which can with certainty be associated with an initial settlement phase – all the sites excavated so far seem to be farms, the occupants of which based their livelihood on stock-rearing. Many of the oldest sites excavated in Iceland and the Faeroes were, however, abandoned very early, some it seems within a generation of their establishment. In some cases (for example, Greluto´ttir in north-west Iceland and To´ftanes on Eysturoy in the Faeroes) the relocation seems to have been over a short distance, possibly within the same home-field, but in others (for example, Hvı´ta´rholt in southern Iceland and Herjo´lfsdalur in Vestmannaeyjar) the abandonment of the farms seems to have been part of a larger-scale reorganization of the settlements.

The fact that the concept of serfdom does not occur in the Norse law codes suggests on the one hand that Norse farmers in general had more freedom than, say, their French or Italian counterparts. On the other hand, it may simply reflect the relative lack of organization on the part of the Norse ruling elite. The limited size of Norse polities also has an effect on our appreciation of the conditions of life of Norse farmers. The smaller the political group to which an individual belongs, and the more distant and the more poorly organized any ultimate power is, the more political weight that individual will have, irrespective even of Archaeology 19 wealth or pedigree.

I believe that some people may think that in many places, many words are used where there are few in the original. I did it that way, because it was your command that I publish his words with glosses. In the second place I believed that, if men without book learning heard his beautiful flowers and the obscure symbols, these things would be as useless to them as jewels are to pigs, and that it would be better to proclaim his prophecies and reasoning for the improvement of the faith of many, rather than to pay any attention to the preferences of foolish people, who are bored by everything that is said about the heroes of Christ, and would rather be entertained by fables.

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A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture by Rory McTurk


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