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

By Rory McTurk

This significant survey of previous Norse-Icelandic literature and tradition includes 29 chapters written through best 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 nations and cultures.

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

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Extra info for A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture

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For our present purpose we can see in this system a confirmation that by the eleventh century at least (the exact time of the building of the system is not certain), the Icelanders had mastered their new environment and developed their subsistence strategies to such a degree that they could start investing in large-scale projects like the earthwork system. Confirmation that the Icelanders had their basic subsistence worked out by the eleventh century comes from the cemetery in Skeljastaðir (eleventh to twelfth centuries).

Not taken into account are brief anecdotes and exempla found in collections featuring short narratives about various saints. For exempla, see chapter 19. A list of saints mentioned in such tales can be found in Widding, Bekker-Nielsen and Shook (1963), which remains the most comprehensive catalogue of West Norse literature about saints. For more recent discussion on sources, dating and manuscript relationships see Cormack (1994: 239– 45) and Kalinke (1996). 1 Iceland formally adopted Christianity in the year 999 or 1000, at the instance of O´la´fr Tryggvason, king of Norway, who also imposed it in his native land.

The practice of boring into Archaeology 23 both ends of sheep leg-bones to extract the marrow suggests that in these regions boiling was replacing roasting as the principal method of cooking meat. Roasting makes the bone brittle enough to be broken easily, whereas boiling tends to make the bone relatively dense, so that special excavation techniques are required to extract the marrow. This change in cooking practice is probably associated with the abandonment of the floor-level central hearths of the halls as the principal focus of cooking activity, and with a new preference for raised fireplaces in special kitchens.

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