Brennu-Njáls saga can—and most often is—be translated to The Story of Burnt Njal. But another way of translating it is The Story of Njáll the Burner. And I believe it is exactly this duality of the saga’s main character Njáll that makes the saga so appealing
This paper discusses a series of episodes from the Sagas of Icelanders in which one character attempts to deceive another.
What was the perception and conception of homicide and suicide in the Viking Age Scandinavia, and to what extent is that traceable in the written and archaeological sources?
The legendary saga giants are for the most part terrible and ugly. Some are also of incredible size, although no sources agree on how huge giants are.
A creature who seems to desecrate wells, a mountain in the shape of a man that rises out the sea, and a spiteful, laughing aquatic goblin: thus runs the cast of monsters found in the saga Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka.
Who scribed Urðabók? And for whom and what? Wawn aims at unveiling the story behind this little, modest manuscript.
The scholarly world interested in all things Norse, Viking and saga-related is coming to Iceland this week for the 17th International Saga Conference. Here is a quick guide to what is happening.
In Iceland, there are four settlement sites that answer to the name of Jórvík – and all of them probably are Viking Age foundations named after the Old Norse name of York: Jórvík. So basically, there are four ‘New Yorks’ in Iceland.
Rómverja saga is an Old Icelandic translation of three Latin works on historical themes from the classical period. In this thesis, I provide the first English translation of this little-known text in the hope that it might prove a resource for scholars interested in the reception of Latin literature in the medieval period.
Made in the last quarter of the 14th century, Flateyjarbók (Book of Flatey) is probably the finest manuscript that Iceland has ever produced.
This paper will try and draw out the picture of mead in Viking Age Iceland, a picture worth elaborating on due to the importance of Icelandic sources of information for an even larger culture.
An accursed king of Gotland is betrayed by his queen to an untimely death. The young prince, the legitimate heir to the throne, is imprisoned in a burial mound of a blood-drinking (un)dead shieldmaiden until …
This article focuses on eddic issues including orality, dating, relationship to the ballad, provenance, international sources, and broadly typological literary relations.
The use of whales, walrus, and seals in the sagas illustrates a cultural map of the ocean. This network of places, known and imagined, is filled in by trade goods, species and place names, and stories that incorporate the denizens of the deep.
Veraldar saga is a medieval Icelandic prose universal history written in the Old Norse vernacular. It describes the history of the world divided into six “ages” from the Biblical creation narrative until the reign of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick I Barbarossa.
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.
The purpose of this Master’s thesis is to analyse the perceptions of Orcadian Norse-Gael identity as they are found in medieval written sources.
Why is the Sun is missing in Nordic saga literature, considering its vital role in the religious life in the Bronze Age North?
Fear of the undead is by no means a new sensation to humankind; the Icelanders, for instance, knew it centuries ago.
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
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.