Download A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture by Rory McTurk PDF

By Rory McTurk

This significant survey of outdated Norse-Icelandic literature and tradition includes 29 chapters written by means of major students within the box, over a 3rd of whom are Icelanders. while, it conveys a feeling of the mainland Scandinavian origins of the Icelandic humans, and displays the continuing touch among Iceland and different international locations and cultures.

The quantity highlights present debates between previous Norse-Icelandic students focusing on diversified points of the topic. assurance of conventional themes is complemented by way of fabric on formerly ignored parts of research, comparable to the sagas of Icelandic bishops and the translated knights’ sagas. Chapters on ‘archaeology’, ‘social institutions’ and ‘geography and travel’ give the chance to view the literature in its wider cultural context whereas chapters on ‘reception’ and ‘continuity’ display the ways that medieval Norse-Icelandic literature and tradition overflow into the trendy interval.

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Additional resources for A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture (Blackwell Companions to Literature and Culture)

Sample text

In Iceland as well as the rest of the Norse world, building styles changed towards the end of the Viking Age. The boat-shaped long-houses, a very distinct cultural symbol common to all the Norse lands during the Viking age, made way for new building styles, styles that varied from one to another of the many different geographical zones of the post-Viking Norse world. Instead of a common architectural expression there developed building types that reflected the local rather than the regional culture.

Heilagra manna so¨gur, whose heroes and settings were generally far from Scandinavia, had scholarly value primarily as linguistic and literary artefacts; sagas about Scandinavian kings or Icelandic bishops (several of whom were also saints) were native compositions which were thought to preserve historical information. If we look at the distribution of these materials in medieval manuscripts, however, the lines become blurred. While certain manuscripts are devoted to the kings of Norway and Denmark, these ‘national histories’ included (and sometimes centred on) ´ la´fr Haraldsson and Knu´tr Sveinsson.

These changes reflect new engineering solutions as to how a roof should be supported, and also, possibly, different use of materials; they clearly also reflect new ideas about the use of space and about the symbolism of domestic architecture. There developed from the late tenth century onwards a specific Icelandic paradigm of what domestic buildings should look like and what functions they should be able to serve, a paradigm different from the earlier Viking-Age one as well as from those developing in other Norse lands.

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