Search results for: violence-and-risk-in-medieval-iceland

Violence and Risk in Medieval Iceland

Author : Oren Falk
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This book investigates the history of violence in medieval Iceland, testing theoretical tools by applying them to a series of case studies drawn from the Icelandic sagas.

Violence and Risk in Medieval Iceland

Author : Oren Falk
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Historians spend a lot of time thinking about violence: bloodshed and feats of heroism punctuate practically every narration of the past. Yet historians have been slow to subject 'violence' itself to conceptual analysis. What aspects of the past do we designate violent? To what methodological assumptions do we commit ourselves when we employ this term? How may we approach the category 'violence' in a specifically historical way, and what is it that we explain when we write its history? Astonishingly, such questions are seldom even voiced, much less debated, in the historical literature. Violence and Risk in Medieval Iceland: This Spattered Isle lays out a cultural history model for understanding violence. Using interdisciplinary tools, it argues that violence is a positively constructed asset, deployed along three principal axes - power, signification, and risk. Analysing violence in instrumental terms, as an attempt to coerce others, focuses on power. Analysing it in symbolic terms, as an attempt to communicate meanings, focuses on signification. Finally, analysing it in cognitive terms, as an attempt to exercise agency despite imperfect control over circumstances, focuses on risk. Violence and Risk in Medieval Iceland explores a place and time notorious for its rampant violence. Iceland's famous sagas hold treasure troves of circumstantial data, ideally suited for past-tense ethnography, yet demand that the reader come up with subtle and innovative methodologies for recovering histories from their stories. The sagas throw into sharp relief the kinds of analytic insights we obtain through cultural interpretation, offering lessons that apply to other epochs too.

Journal of Medieval Military History

Author : Kelly DeVries
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Warfare on the periphery of Europe and across cultural boundaries is a particular focus of this volume. One article, on Castilian seapower, treats the melding of northern and southern naval traditions; another clarifies the military roles of the Ayyubid and Mamluk miners and stoneworkers in siege warfare; a third emphasizes cultural considerations in an Icelandic conflict; a fourth looks at how an Iberian prelate navigated the line between ecclesiastical and military responsibilities; and a fifth analyzes the different roles of early gunpowder weapons in Europe and China, linking technological history with the significance of human geography. Further contributions also consider technology, two dealing with fifteenth-century English artillery and the third with prefabricated mechanical artillery during the Crusades. Another theme of the volume is source criticism, with re-examinations of the sources for Owain Glydwr's (possible) victory at Hyddgen in 1401, a (possible) Danish attack on England in 1128, and the role of non-milites in Salian warfare. Contributors: Nicolás Agrait, Tonio Andrade, David Bachrach, Oren Falk, Devin Fields, Michael S. Fulton, Thomas K. Heeboll-Holm, Rabei G. Khamisy, Michael Livingstone, Dan Spencer, L.J. Andrew Villalon

Masculinities in Old Norse Literature

Author : Gareth Lloyd Evans
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Compared to other areas of medieval literature, the question of masculinity in Old Norse-Icelandic literature has been understudied. This is a neglect which this volume aims to rectify. The essays collected here introduce and analyse a spectrum of masculinities, from the sagas of Icelanders, contemporary sagas, kings' sagas, legendary sagas, chivalric sagas, bishops' sagas, and eddic and skaldic verse, producing a broad and multifaceted understanding of what it means to be masculine in Old Norse-Icelandic texts. A critical introduction places the essays in their scholarly context, providing the reader with a concise orientation in gender studies and the study of masculinities in Old Norse-Icelandic literature. This book's investigation of how masculinities are constructed and challenged within a unique literature is all the more vital in the current climate, in which Old Norse sources are weaponised to support far-right agendas and racist ideologies are intertwined with images of vikings as hypermasculine. This volume counters these troubling narratives of masculinity through explorations of Old Norse literature that demonstrate how masculinity is formed, how it is linked to violence and vulnerability, how it governs men's relationships, and how toxic models of masculinity may be challenged. JESSICA HANCOCK is a Lecturer in Educational Development at City, University of London; GARETH LLOYD EVANS is Lecturer in Medieval Literature at St Hilda's College, Oxford. Contributors: sds Egilsdttir, David Ashurst, Brynja orgeirsdttir, Gareth Lloyd Evans, Oren Falk, Alison Finlay, Jessica Clare Hancock, Jhanna Katrn Fridriksdttir, Philip Lavender, Thomas Morcom, Carl Phelpstead, Matthew Roby.

The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas

Author : Ármann Jakobsson
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The last fifty years have seen a significant change in the focus of saga studies, from a preoccupation with origins and development to a renewed interest in other topics, such as the nature of the sagas and their value as sources to medieval ideologies and mentalities. The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials. This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.

Bridal quest Romance in Medieval Iceland

Author : Marianne E. Kalinke
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First overview and analysis of a popular 13th- and 14th-centur form, focusing on heroic and chivalric sagas.

The Medieval Icelandic Saga and Oral Tradition

Author : Gísli Sigurðsson
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This work explores the role of orality in shaping and evaluating medieval Icelandic literature. Applying field studies of oral cultures in modern times to this distinguished medieval literature, Gísli Sigurðsson asks how it would alter our reading of medieval Icelandic sagas if it were assumed they had grown out of a tradition of oral storytelling, similar to that observed in living cultures. Sigurðsson examines how orally trained lawspeakers regarded the emergent written culture, especially in light of the fact that the writing down of the law in the early twelfth century undermined their social status. Part II considers characters, genealogies, and events common to several sagas from the east of Iceland between which a written link cannot be established. Part III explores the immanent or mental map provided to the listening audience of the location of Vinland by the sagas about the Vinland voyages. Finally, this volume focuses on how accepted foundations for research on medieval texts are affected if an underlying oral tradition (of the kind we know from the modern field work) is assumed as part of their cultural background. This point is emphasized through the examination of parallel passages from two sagas and from mythological overlays in an otherwise secular text.

Viking and Medieval Scandinavia

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Social Organization of Law

Author : Austin Sarat
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Austin Sarat's The Social Organization of Law: Introductory Readings begins with a simple premise--law seeks to work in the world, to order, change, and give meaning to society--and describes legal processes as socially organized. This book connects legal studies to the study of society in two different senses. First, the readings highlight law's responsiveness to various dimensions of social stratification. They also draw attention to the questions of when, why, and how legal decisions and actions respond to the social characteristics (e.g. race, class, and gender) of those making the decisions as well as those who are subject to them. These questions inevitably raise issues of justice and fairness, highlighting the moral dimensions of legal life. Second, Sarat treats law itself as a social organization, emphasizing the complex relations between its various component parts (e.g., judges and jurors, police and prosecutors, appellate courts, and trial courts). The book examines the traditional subject of professional legal study--namely appellate court opinions--and describes some of the most pressing controversies of legal interpretation while questioning how those opinions take on meaning in social life. Sarat also questions whether those at the top of law's bureaucratic structure effectively control the behavior of others in the legal system's chain of command. This anthology provides accessible, up-to-date materials (such as readings on terrorism and the challenges it poses to law, racial profiling, and gay rights) juxtaposed to the classics of the field. Introductions to each reading, along with the notes and questions written by the author, unpack the issues and engage students, enabling them to link the material from one chapter to another. Additional suggested readings provide stimulus for further inquiry. The Social Organization of Law offers students a broad perspective that treats law as a set of institutions and practices combining moral argument, distinctive interpretive traditions, and the social organization of violence.


Author : William Ian Miller
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Miller, educated as a literary critic and philologist, is a historian of medieval Iceland who is employed as a law professor. He writes about emotions across time and culture, drawing on his own experience, the Iceland of the sagas, the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and other literary works. His theme is the way in which ancient codes of honor still function in contemporary life. Annotation copyright by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR