On a first glance, the Íslendingasögur can seem like a never-ending chain of feud killings, and many of the best known and most noteworthy saga scenes are scenes of combat.
The discussion of ‘Bjarnar saga Hítdælakappa’ structure has resulted in it being described either as a clumsily made saga or as an odd, non-mainstream saga. However, a scholastic attempt to find the narrative strategy behind the veil of clumsiness has shown that the seemingly loosely constructed narrative of the “Icelandic” part appears to be planned in a rather sophisticated and artistic way.
In Iceland, the introduction of Christianity around 1000 AD was associated with fundamental chnges in burial customs.
Fear of the undead is by no means a new sensation to humankind; the Icelanders, for instance, knew it centuries ago.
The character of commercial fishing in Icelandic waters in the fifteenth century By Mark Gardiner Cod and Herring: The Archaeology and History of Medieval…
Five new books for those interested in the sagas and society of Iceland during the Middle Ages.
This article aims to cast a light upon the colorful yet largely unknown shapechanging motifs found in Old Norse-Icelandic literature as well as in related literary works conceived from Classical times until the middle of the 16th century
Do the kings presented in Strengleikar appear as the European Christian rex justus kings, which was the dominant medieval royal model, or do they convey another image – an image that may be interpreted to explain both the intended function and the popularity of the translations in Norway and Iceland
‘Icelanders or Norwegians? Leifur, Snorri and national identity then and now’ followed by a panel discussion
Susan Signe Morrison’s book, “A Medieval Woman’s Companion” brings the contributions of medieval women, famous and obscure, to the forefront in this fantastic introductory text.
Can medieval literary texts tell us anything about the environmental conditions and the availability of natural resources in premodern times?
In the last decade early Christian churches and cemeteries in the region of Skagafjördur, North Iceland, have been the object of extensive archaeological research.
New types of popular texts emerged, bringing with them new images of women, especially the maiden-king or meykongr, a figure that features prominently in many of the late-medieval indigenous romances or (frumsamdar) riddarasögur.
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.
The Norse expansion into the North Atlantic is remarkable testimony to the maritime transformation of the early medieval world.
Textile production was a key industry for the Norse colonies of the North Atlantic during the late Viking and Medieval period.
A survey of these episodes, then, suggests that maternal space in the sagas reasserts itself generally—and particularly reasserts itself onto the northern landscape—during instances of child exposure, where this mode of attempted infanticide takes on a variant meaning in Northern societies than it would from more Southern ones.
Although Egil’s Saga is memorable enough for its bloodshed, feuds, and comically disgusting mead-hall scenes, the one characteristic which most distinctly sets it apart from the other Icelandic sagas is its extensive use of poetry.
For medieval Icelanders, horses were among the most important animals. It should come as no surprise, as they were used for transport, in pagan rites, eating, and also for sports.
Icelandic women during the Viking Age managed households, raised their children, tended to the animals, and wove the cloth, along with a host of other duties overlooked by their male counterparts.
I shall first tell you briefly about Snorri’s background and his education and discuss his Edda, where he appears as mythographer, among other things, and then tell you about his career as a politician and discuss his Sagas of the Norwegian Kings.
How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!
Here is MaryAnn R. Adams’ winning advice on how to deal with Norse kings.
Skriðuklaustur monastery was the youngest of nine cloisters operated in Iceland during the Catholic period of the Middle Ages.