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

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.

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 : John France
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Highlights the range and richness of scholarship on medieval warfare, military institutions, and cultures of conflict that characterize the field. History 95 (2010)

Reimagining Christendom

Author : Joel D. Anderson
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With its expanding legal system and its burgeoning throngs of lawyers, legates, and documents, the papacy of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries has often been credited with spearheading a governmental revolution that molded the high medieval church into an increasingly disciplined, uniform, and machine-like institution. Reimagining Christendom offers a fresh appraisal of these developments from a surprising and distinctive vantage point. Tracing the web of textual ties that connected the northern fringes of Europe to the Roman see, Joel D. Anderson explores the ways in which Norse writers recruited, refashioned, and repurposed the legal principles and official documents of the Roman church for their own ends. Drawing on little-known vernacular sagas, Reimagining Christendom is populated with tales of married bishops, fictitious and forged papal bulls, and imagined canon law proceedings. These narratives, Anderson argues, demonstrate how Norse writers adapted and reconfigured the institutional power of the church in order to legitimize some of the thoroughly abnormal practices of their native bishops. In the process, Icelandic clerics constructed their own visions of ecclesiastical order--visions that underscore the thoroughly malleable character of the Roman church's text-based government and that articulate diverse ways of belonging to the far-flung imagined community of high medieval Christendom.

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.

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.

Animal Human Relationships in Medieval Iceland

Author : Harriet Jean Evans Tang
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Domestic animals played a range of roles in the imaginative world of medieval Icelanders: from partners in settlement and household allies, to violent offenders, foster-kin and surrogate wives, they were vital and effective members of the multispecies communities established from the ninth century onwards. This book examines the domestic animals of early Iceland in their physical and textual contexts, through detailed analysis of the spaces and places of the Icelandic farm and farming landscape, and textual sources such as The Book of Settlements, the earliest Icelandic laws, and various episodes from the Sagas and Tales of Icelanders. Taking a multidisciplinary approach to animal-human relationships, it sees animals not solely as symbols, metaphors, or objects, but as subjects in affective relationships with their human co-settlers who become the focus of intense exploration, delight, anxiety and condemnation in later textual narratives. By inviting readers to question how these sources form, embrace, or reject animal-human relationships, it provides a resource for understanding these archaeological sites and textual narratives differently: as products of multispecies communities in which animals and humans lived, worked, and died together.ect animal-human relationships, it provides a resource for understanding these archaeological sites and textual narratives differently: as products of multispecies communities in which animals and humans lived, worked, and died together.ect animal-human relationships, it provides a resource for understanding these archaeological sites and textual narratives differently: as products of multispecies communities in which animals and humans lived, worked, and died together.ect animal-human relationships, it provides a resource for understanding these archaeological sites and textual narratives differently: as products of multispecies communities in which animals and humans lived, worked, and died together.

Landscape Tradition and Power in Medieval Iceland

Author : Chris Callow
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In this volume Chris Callow provides a critical reading of the evidence for changes in Iceland’s socio-political structures from its colonisation to the 1260s when leading Icelanders swore oaths of loyalty to the Norwegian king.

Warriors and Peacemakers

Author : Mark Cooney
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Why do some conflicts escalate into violence while others dissipate harmlessly? Under what circumstances will people kill, and why? While homicide has been viewed largely in the pathological terms of "crime" and "deviance," violence, Mark Cooney contends, is a naturally-occurring form of conflict found throughout history and across cultures under certain social conditions. Cooney has analyzed the social control of homicide within and across over 30 societies and interviewed several dozens of prisoners incarcerated for murder or manslaughter, as well as members of their families. Violence such as homicide can only be understood, he argues, by transcending the traditional focus on the social characteristics of the killer and victims, and by looking at the role played by family members, friends, neighbors, onlookers, police officers, and judges. These third parties can be a source of peace or violence, depending on how they are configured in particular cases. Violence flourishes, Cooney demonstrates, when authority is either very strong or very weak and when third-party ties are strong and boundaries between groups sharply defined. Drawing on recent theory in the lively new sociological speciality of conflict management, Mark Cooney has culled a vast array of evidence from modern and preindustrial societies to provide us with the first general sociological analysis of human violence.

Narrative Violence and the Law

Author : Robert M. Cover
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Essential writings of the leading scholar of law and violence