Jesse Byock is also affiliated Professor at the Háskóli Íslands in the Department of History and the Programs in Medieval Icelandic and Viking Studies, where he teaches courses in Old Norse and the history, archaeology, sagas and sources of Viking Age and Medieval Iceland. The case study approach that tells you so much. Iceland was in this era unique in its settlement, social organization, lack of executive authority, legal development and cultural environment. A good read overall that presents a more complete picture of what most people consider a violent culture. Because the rules of feuding, as they developed in Iceland, regulated conflict and limited breakdowns of order, violence was kept within acceptable bounds throughout most of the history of the Free State. The 15 graded lessons include vocabulary and grammar exercises, 35 readings, pronunciation, 15 maps, 45 illustrations, and 180 exercises. This book stops at the convenant with Norway, but I'd like to learn more about the effects of empire-building and what conditions led Icelanders to embrace nationalism and push for autonomy in 1918 and independence by 1944.
Similar actions involving different characters are repeated in different locales. If you are a scholar of early Iceland, this will be a top, must-read book. The book does have a grammar appendix but it is basically a collection of inflexion tables and doesn't have nearly as much explanation. The legal system operated without an executive authority. This was also necessary because Scandinavians of the time were inclined to violence at the drop of a hat. Byock seems to have preferred to use only authentic Old Norse from the period, but the downside is that one doesn't have the experience of thinking original thoughts in the language. Such constant emphasis on reality-based scenarios, often dictated by competition for scarce resources whether they be material, such as forest land; legal, such as support at a þing; or more personal, such as prestige , demonstrates that the saga audience was interested in hearing this material and that it was still relevant to them in their own times.
This is an excellently organized, coherently written overview and analysis of life in the free republic of Iceland. They have no close parallels in other medieval European narratives, which are mostly in verse and are often of a more epic character than the sagas. . It even has chapter names like 'The Sagas: An Ethnography of Medieval Iceland'. The text is interspersed with story bits from various sagas to illustrate these structures and general life on the harsh island but can be a little dry at times. I'm using it as background reading for the Sagas. It even has chapter names like 'The Sagas: An Ethnography of Medieval Iceland'.
Per il resto l'ho trovato ottimo, indispensabile per leggere e capire le saghe norrene. However, when compared to similar products such as Reading Old English, a book which takes a similar approach , the lack of precise formatting is apparent. A good, scholarly overview of Iceland's early history, touching on the development of the island's economic, political, legal, social, religious, and cultural systems. The 15 graded lessons include vocabulary and grammar exercises, 35 readings, pronunciation, 15 maps, 45 illustrations, and 180 exercises. A culture where fueding is almost customary and both violence and compromise are legally acceptable options. It should have been a utopia yet its literature is dominated by brutality and killing.
Freedom from reliance on a fixed, memorized text allowed individual authors to incorporate new elements, such as Christian themes and changing ethical judgements. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Byock, lie in the underlying structures and cultural codes of the islands' social order. I came away with a healthy respect for their institutions, too. In anthropological terms the particles reflect the phases of Icelandic feud. Ci sono rimandi, ovvio, sarebbe inconcepibile scindere il tutto, solo che ne avrei voluti di più. The legal system operated without an executive authority. The sagas and laws together illustrate the way Icelanders thought their society worked.
While breaking from traditional scholarly methods and interpretations, Byock still comes across as a bit old-school. I'm super intererested to learn more about the period in between my two encounters with Iceland, the Viking Age and rise of modern statehood in the 20th century. I had heard of Icelandic sagas and eddas, but I hadn't previously realized how they were basically the ur-texts of many of my favorite works, like the Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, and Wagner's Ring Cycle. Within the first century, they had caused so much environmental damage that all the forest was lost and half of the grassland. With regularity the stories focus on private matters and offer insights into personal problems of families and the health, good of ill, of marriages. Perhaps this is due to the relative isolation of the modern icelandic peoples, who, till this date, number only in the 300-400 thousands.
The Long House of the Mosfell Chieftains. This well-written book takes up a wide variety of subjects, including the social fabric, domestic realities, cultural codes, politics and legal infrastructures, and the mechanisms that defused conflicts among the fiercely independent early Icelanders. Interessante e lodevole anche la consulta delle saghe come materiale altrettanto valido per la comprensione della storia sociale dei primi islandesi. Lavoro estremamente interessante, mi sarebbe piaciuto un approfondimento della comparazione tra la civiltà vichinga in Islanda e quella in Scandinavia. Instead I had to consult the table of contents, see that it was for instance section 11. Therefore, to understand medieval Iceland and the sagas, Byock argues p.
This study seems to have been written as a follow-up to Medieval Iceland: Society, Sagas, and Power and covers much of the same territory. The script I feel is excellent: the language is simple and powerful and not cloaked in the same posturing of the British tongue. Wind back almost 2 millenia, and one can't still say that Latin is mutually comprehensible with its modern derivatives. The Family and Sturlunga Sagas: Medieval Narratives and Modern Nationalism The Family Sagas The Sturlunga Compilation The Sagas as Sources Modern Nationalism and the Medieval Sagas Conclusions The Locations of the Family Sagas 9. These choices not only made for variety in the small clusters of actions that linked together to form chains of saga events, but also served to distinguish one saga from another. His new book teaches Old Norse, runes, and Icelandic sagas and is available Winter 2012. To be certain, many people must have 'converted' entirely tongue-in-cheek but they converted nonetheless and Iceland became a more-or-less Christian nation.