Iceland is an odd place with an odd history. Despite being ranked among the wealthiest nations today, for much of its history it was left out of the growth and development of culture and technology throughout the Medieval period. It has never been a particularly hospitable environment for human habitation. Wind-blasted, cold, and rocky, it was an island left unsettled by humans long after it was discovered.
Blood Vengeance and the Depiction of Women in La leyenda de los siete infantes de Lara, The Nibelungenlied and Njal’s Saga
Despite countless manifestations in literature of many traditions and cultures, the archetype of vengeance as a theme is a common and current one
Along with the accomplishments of skill in arms and verse-making, many a saga hero is credited with a knowledge of law and legal procedure. Many of these heroes are shown duelling with their enemiesin a series of legal disputes forming a series of chapters.
In thirteenth century Iceland, however, the dragon consists of more than the mere imagining of man; it is a creature that is imbued with centuries of history, biology, theology, and mythology synthesized into an oftentimes wholly logical and other times completely fantastical beast.
An interview with author Nancy Brown on her latest medieval offering: “Song of the Vikings: Snorri and the Making of Norse Myths”.
There are many examples in Njáls saga of characters who fail to adhere to their assigned gender role and as a result perpetuate the chain of events that leads the saga to its grisly conclusion.
Inspired by Njáls saga and Laxdæla saga, the novel Fire in the Ice by American novelist Dorothy James Roberts is one of numerous modern rewritings of classical and medieval literature.
“Ek Skal Hér Ráða”: Themes of Female Honor in the Icelandic Sagas Rivenbark, Susan Elizabeth (University of North Carolina at Wilmington) M.A. Thesis, Appalachian State University, May (2011) Abstract There was a separate and unique code of honor and ethics for women living in Iceland during the Viking Age. What was female honor? Were Icelandic women […]