Icelanders’ sagas

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The Trial of Kari Solmundarson et al vs Flosi et al. For farmer Njal Thorgeirssson of Bergthorknoll it could hardly have ended worse: burned alive with his family in his own home by a small army of his enemies. What preceded the tragedy is a long story; what came after is no less so. The saga opens in about Troubles really begin when a Hrut, his pride wounded by the decision of his wife, Unn, to divorce him, refuses to return her dowry, as was customary in Iceland at the time. When Unn falls upon hard times, she enlists the help of her cousin, Gunnar, who eventually succeeds in getting Hrut to return the dowry. Gunnar becomes something of a big man in Iceland, returning rich and triumphant from adventures abroad. The feud eventually leads to a killing match that leaves seven men dead. For example, Hallgerd steals food from a farmer, leaving Gunnar to plead unsuccessfully with the difficult farmer to accept his generous offers of compensation for the stolen food.

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Credit: Getty Images. A unique population of Icelandic walrus went extinct shortly after Norse settlement about 1, years ago, research finds. Walrus hunting for the ivory trade was probably the cause of extinction.

Erik the Red is remembered in medieval and Icelandic sagas as having founded the first continuous settlement in Greenland.

The Icelandic Saga Database is an online resource dedicated to publishing the Sagas of the Icelanders — a large body of medieval Icelandic literature. The sagas are prose histories describing events that took place amongst the Norse and Celtic inhabitants of Iceland during the period of the Icelandic Commonwealth in the 10th and 11th centuries CE. The Icelandic sagas are believed to have been written in the 13th and 14th centuries CE, perhaps originating in an oral tradition of storytelling.

While their facticity and authorship is for the most part unknown, they are a widely recognized gem of world literature thanks to their sparse, succinct prose style and balanced storytelling. The sagas focus largely on history, especially genealogical and family history, and reflect the struggles and conflicts that arose amongst the second and third generations of Norse settlers in medieval Iceland, which was in this time a remote, decentralised society with a rich legal tradition but no organized executive power.

This website contains all the extant Icelandic family sagas. They are accessible in a variety of open formats. The texts use modernised Icelandic orthography. Translations into English and other languages are also made available where these exist in the public domain. Running the Icelandic Saga Database takes time and money. Your donations help keep us up and running! You can also support us by buying the Icelandic Sagas in English translation via this Amazon link:. Welcome to the Icelandic Saga Database The Icelandic Saga Database is an online resource dedicated to publishing the Sagas of the Icelanders — a large body of medieval Icelandic literature.

“Ek Skal Hér Ráða”: Themes of Female Honor in the Icelandic Sagas

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Dating. criteria. In order to give the reader some idea of the kinds of arguments that have been used to place particular sagas in a chronological relationship with​.

We’ve updated our Privacy Policy to make it clearer how we use your personal data. We use cookies to provide you with a better experience, read our Cookie Policy. An international collaboration of scientists in Iceland, Denmark and the Netherlands has for the first time used ancient DNA analyses and Cdating to demonstrate the past existence of a unique population of Icelandic walrus that went extinct shortly after Norse settlement some years ago.

Walrus hunting and ivory trade was probably the principal cause of extinction, being one of the earliest examples of commercially driven overexploitation of marine resources. The presence of walruses in Iceland in the past and its apparent disappearance as early as in the Settlement and Commonwealth periods AD has long puzzled the scientific world. In a study recently published in the journal Molecular Biology and Evolution scientists from Denmark, Iceland and Holland have addressed the question by analysing ancient and contemporary DNA along with carbon dating of walrus remains, supplemented with detailed studies of finding localities of the remains, place names and references to walrus hunting in the Icelandic Mediaeval literature, including the Icelandic Sagas.

This can be further put into context by studying the Icelandic Mediaeval literature, historic place names and zooarchaeological sites,” explains instigator of the research Hilmar J. A long-term population of genetically unique walruses in Iceland The scientists used carbon dating of walrus remains found in Iceland to reveal that walrus inhabited Iceland for thousands of years, but disappeared shortly after the country’s settlement around AD by the Norse.

DNA was extracted from natural finding sites and archaeological excavations of walrus samples, and compared to data from contemporary walruses, documenting that the Icelandic walrus constituted a genetically unique lineage, distinct from all other historic and contemporary walrus populations in the North Atlantic.

It further adds to the debate about the role of humans in the extinction of megafauna, supporting a growing body of evidence that wherever humans turn up, the local environment and ecosystem suffers,” says Morten Tange Olsen, Assistant Professor at Globe Institute, University of Copenhagen. Walrus ivory was a luxury good Walrus ivory was a luxury good in high demand and widely traded across Viking Age and Medieval Europe with beautifully ornamented tusks documented as far away as the Middle East and India.

Most examples of trade and human overexploitation and extinction of local marine resources are of much more recent date, such as overfishing, and commercial whaling for the past three centuries or so. Reference: Keighley et al. Disappearance of Icelandic walruses coincided with Norse settlement.

Livestream Event: Learn About Icelandic Sagas with Professor Gísli Sigurðsson!

It has come as a surprise to me how many people abroad have read the Sagas, and it often happens when I tell people on my travels abroad that I am Icelandic, that they start reciting something from the Sagas! In the show, you will be f. The above mentioned Sagas are the ones I know, and thus I got the reference to the highlights, but there were others which I am not familiar with – still it was so much fun watching these energetic actors portraying the highlights from those Sagas.

I learnt a lot and will definitely find time to read the rest of the Icelandic Sagas in the near future. I am very shy and do not like to be picked from the crowd to come on stage, so I hid behind the camera the whole time, praying that they would not pick me. If you are like me and don’t want to be picked from the crowd then sit in the second row, not the front row ;.

¹ The dating indices are normally not clear enough to allow for the establishment of a firm chronology. As a result, surveys of the sagas often organize them in.

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The Icelandic genre known as the Family Sagas, Sagas of Icelanders, or Sagas about early Icelanders consists of anonymous works, and the genre, as well as the individual sagas, are therefore difficult to date. This literature is also difficult to date since sagas are stories that were transformed both during oral and scribal transmission. The authors of the present book address methodological problems and discuss the dating of individual sagas and the genre itself.

Focusing their attention on an important period in the history of Icelandic literature, the authors are particularly concerned with the several new written genres which developed in Iceland in the thirteenth century, of which the Sagas about early Icelanders is regarded as the most important. The articles gathered in this volume show that the dating of the beginning of this written genre and of individual sagas belonging to it is crucial to the understanding of the development of literary history in thirteenth-century Iceland.

She has published widely on Old Norse saga literature, Eddic and skaldic poetry, on Old Norse mythology, women in Old Norse society, as well as on the relationship between the oral and the written literature and the impact of Christianization on the Old Norse culture.

The Icelandic Saga Database is an online resource dedicated to publishing the Sagas of the Icelanders — a large body of medieval Icelandic literature. The sagas.

Explore Plus. Price: Not Available. Currently Unavailable. Mundal Else. The Icelandic genre known as the Family Sagas, Sagas of Icelanders, or Sagas about early Icelanders consists of anonymous works, and the genre, as well as the individual sagas, are therefore difficult to date. This literature is also difficult to date since sagas are stories that were transformed both during oral and scribal transmission. The authors of the present book address methodological problems and discuss the dating of individual sagas and the genre itself.

Focusing their attention on an important period in the history of Icelandic literature, the authors are particularly concerned with the several new written genres which developed in Iceland in the thirteenth century, of which the Sagas about early Icelanders is regarded as the most important.

Welcome to the Icelandic Saga Database

This was perfectly suited to my needs for a reliable, enjoyable introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Sagas. It is well organized, smoothly written, contains a useful bibliography, and offers Cambridge University Press Labirint Ozon.

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.

The Icelandic sagas are often described as one of the most significant bodies of literature produced by Europe in the medieval period. These prose narratives, many set in the 9th and 10th centuries when Iceland was first being settled by Norwegians, recount a myriad of events of dubious historicity , such as family feuds, heroes, daring deeds, and battles that inspired the fiction of Tolkien and others. They also happen to be rather kinky and sometimes utter filth.

But if, dear reader, you were to inexplicably find yourself in a saga, these few pointers will give you the basic knowledge needed to bag that Nordic hottie or you could just kidnap the apple of your eye and pop them on the next longboat to Iceland in order to escape their parents; that would also be acceptable. Anyway, without further ado:.

But it went the same way for all of them: she had them killed, and their heads tied to the stockade.

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Icelandic Sagas Theatrical Show. The Icelandic Sagas show at Harpa Concert Hall is a great way to learn about Viking settlement in Iceland and have a good laugh at the same time! This minute show in English takes you through 40 epic Icelandic sagas. Learn about the first Viking settlements in Iceland, their travels abroad, bloody family feuds, and many other historical events that formed Iceland we know today. The show is a great way to spend the day laughing with the whole family!

I The term Islendinga SSgur (literally ‘Sagas of Icelanders’) is used in Icelandic for those sagas which relate the lives of Icelanders living in the Age of Settlement.

The family sagas are a unique contribution to Western literature and a central pillar of Icelandic literature. They are notable for their realism, their controlled objective style, their powers of character delineation, and their overwhelming tragic dignity, and they represent the highest development of the classical age of Icelandic saga writing. Some scholars have argued that the artistic unity, length, and complexity of the sagas prove that they are works written about Icelandic history by individual authors of the 13th century.

Others have argued that the sagas were composed orally at about the time of the events they describe and then passed down as oral tradition until, centuries later, they were transcribed. The historicity of the sagas has also been the subject of a long-running debate, often tied to questions about who created the sagas and for what purpose. Regardless of whether the family sagas are true to history, they are true to the grim ethos of a vanished way of life, which they portray with dramatic power and laconic eloquence.

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A Hilarious Comedy Show on the Icelandic Sagas in 75 Minutes at Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavík

As a child, Erik the Red left his native Norway for western Iceland with his father. When Erik was exiled from Iceland circa , he decided to explore the land to the west Greenland. He sailed in but was unable to approach the coast because of drift ice.

Icelandic Medieval literature, in addition to ancient DNA and carbon dating, tell the likely story of how Iceland lost its unique walrus population. hunting in the Icelandic Mediaeval literature, including the Icelandic Sagas.

The play depicts all of the forty Icelandic sagas. Icelanders take pride in their literary heritage, in particular the Icelandic sagas written from the twelfth to the fourteenth century. Reading through all of these forty sagas to get to know Icelandic culture and heritage might be fun, but seeing the play is a tad quicker and funnier.

The play Icelandic Sagas: The Greatest Hits is presented by two Icelandic actors who jump from the role of one heroic housewife or Viking to the next along with kings, queens, shepherds and more , all dressed up in Viking attire, and sneakers. The play is 75 minutes long, so the knowledge you end up with is perhaps not as thorough as after reading the literary heritage itself, but what you get from the play are all the greatest hits. Some of them even in slow motion, and they throw in some jokes as well.

In the play you get to know all the forty sagas, though some are entwined to speed things along. The versions are short, but to the point, and cover most of the legendary characters from the era, with all their faults and virtues. The few women depicted in the Icelandic sagas are all very feisty and their husbands are more often than not, no match for them. The sagas are the jewels of Icelandic culture.

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Datitig lthe Icelandic Sagas. Viking Society for Research, Uni- versity College, London, Pp. xii+ This new book by the distinguished Icelandic scholar,​.

National Library of Australia. Search the catalogue for collection items held by the National Library of Australia. Read more Einar Olafur Sveinsson. Dating the Icelandic sagas : an essay in method. College London.

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