Medieval Iceland was unique amongst Western Europe, with no foreign policy, no defence forces, no king, no lords, no peasants and few battles. It should have been a utopia yet its literature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Byock, lie in the underlying structures and cultural codes of the islands' social order. 'Viking Age Iceland' is an engaging, multi-disciplinary work bringing together findings in anthropology and ethnography interwoven with historical fact and masterful insights into the popular Icelandic sagas, this is a brilliant reconstruction of the inner workings of a unique and intriguing society.
This carefully crafted ebook: äóìEric Brighteyes (A Novel of Viking Age Iceland)äó� is formatted for your eReader with a functional and detailed table of contents. äóìEric Brighteyesäó�, an epic viking novel, describes the adventures of its eponymous principal character in 10th century Iceland. Eric Thorgrimursson (nicknamed "Brighteyes" for his most notable trait), strives to win the hand of his beloved, Gudruda the Fair. Her father Asmund, a priest of the old Norse gods, opposes the match, thinking Eric a man without prospects. But deadlier by far are the intrigues of Swanhild, Gudruda's half-sister and a sorceress who desires Eric for herself. Battles, intrigues, and treachery followäó_ Sir Henry Rider Haggard (1856-1925) was an English writer of adventure novels and dark fantasy stories set in exotic locations, predominantly Africa, and a pioneer of the Lost World literary genre.
The Sagas of Icelanders are enduring stories from Viking-age Iceland filled with love and romance, battles and feuds, tragedy and comedy. Yet these tales are little read today, even by lovers of literature. The culture and history of the people depicted in the Sagas are often unfamiliar to the modern reader, though the audience for whom the tales were intended would have had an intimate understanding of the material. This text introduces the modern reader to the daily lives and material culture of the Vikings. Topics covered include religion, housing, social customs, the settlement of disputes, and the early history of Iceland. Issues of dispute among scholars, such as the nature of settlement and the division of land, are addressed in the text.
The purpose of this Viking-Age Icelandic study is to look beyond the catalogues of data already in the record and put the information in its social context. This study shows that the internal and external aspects of any grave reveal not only information about the deceased, but also about his or her family, society and, most importantly, the ideological realms of the people burying the dead, which was, relatively recently, not considered accessible from material remains. In so doing, the catalogues of internal data were anthropologically interpreted with the help of external information to provide an image of the society, showing differences based on age and gender and the role cosmology played in burial placement. In addition, this study shows that using Geographical Information Systems does not limit research to statements of quantity. GIS can be used to explore a range of subjects including qualitative analysis and cognitive choices. This is achieved by integrating Cognitive, Landscape and Mortuary theory; and Gender and Age approaches to the burial sites of pre-Christian Viking period Iceland. The approach of this study, therefore, is to analyse the internal grave structures and artefact inclusions and the external surroundings to draw out the meanings, symbols and behaviours behind those materials that define the culture.
A BASIC ROLEPLAYING GAME: The Nordic and Celtic peoples who settled Iceland in the 9th century came from lands with rich traditions of folklore, where the mythical and supernatural were part of daily life. They found an island of striking beauty, with inland valleys, richly grassed and forested lowlands, massive glaciers, and impressive volcanic mountain ranges. They also found the land to be teeming with spirits of nature and mythic creatures. This book aims to bring to life the world of the Icelandic Sagas and fairy tales, using the Basic Roleplaying system.
Revealing How the Global Affairs of the Viking Age Created New Forms of Social Complexity
Author: Tara Carter
In Iceland’s Networked Society, Tara Carter examines how Viking Age Iceland, despite being positioned at the margins of competing empires, achieved social complexity on its own terms by successfully managing ties to key players in a global social network.
This book, the first in our Companions to Medieval Studies series, is a brief introduction to the history, culture, and religion of the Viking Age and provides an essential foundation for study of the period. The companion begins by defining the Viking Age and explores topics such as Viking society and religion. Viking biographies provide students with information on important figures in Viking lore such as Harald Bluetooth, Eirik the Red, Leif Eiriksson, and Gudrid Thorbjarnardaughter, a female Viking traveler. A compelling chapter entitled "How Do We Know About the Vikings?" and a case study on the wandering monks of St. Philibert introduce students to the process of historical inquiry. The book concludes with a discussion of the impact of the Vikings and their legacy. Pedagogical resources include a detailed chronology, study questions, a glossary, 4 maps, and 14 images. Text boxes provide information on outsider perceptions of the Vikings, a detailed account of a Viking raid, and a description of a chieftain's dwelling in Arctic Norway. This study also benefits from a multi-disciplinary approach including insights and evidence from such diverse disciplines as archaeology, philology, religion, linguistics, and genetics.
In assembling, translating, and arranging over a hundred primary source readings, Somerville and McDonald successfully illuminate the Vikings and their world for twenty-first-century students and instructors. The diversity of the Viking Age is brought to life through the range of sources presented, and the geographical and chronological coverage of these readings. The Norse translations, many of them new to this collection, are straightforward and easily accessible, and the chapter introductions contextualize the readings while allowing the sources to speak for themselves. The second edition of this popular reader has been revised and reorganized into fourteen chapters. Nearly twenty sources have been added, including material on children, games and entertainment, and runic inscriptions, as well as new readings on the martyrdom of Alfeah, the life of Saint Findan, and the martyrdom of Saint Edmund. The reader can be paired for classroom use with its companion volume, The Vikings and Their Age, authored by Somerville and McDonald. Together, these books provide comprehensive coverage for a course on the Vikings. Additional resources, such as a detailed bibliography and instructions on reading skaldic poetry, can be found on the History Matters website (www.utphistorymatters.com).
Scandinavia, Iceland, Ireland, Orkney and the Faeroes
Author: Gro Steinsland
Category: Political Science
This book analyses the Nordic pre-Christian ideology of rulership, and its confrontation with, survival into and adaptation to the European Christian ideals during the transition from the Viking to the Middle Ages from the ninth to the thirteenth century.
This collection of essays offers fresh analysis of topics in the exciting area of Atlantic World studies. Challenging standard assumptions, the essays advance the argument that the Atlantic Ocean was a region that encompassed ethnic and political boundaries, in which a sub-community shaped by culture and commerce arose.
Author: Society for Economic Anthropology (U.S.). Meeting,E. Paul Durrenberger,Judith Marti
Publisher: Rowman Altamira
Category: Business & Economics
This excellent new volume in the series from the Society for Economic Anthropology focuses on the role of labor in world economies. Contributors offer a range of case studies illustrating labor processes in both western and nonwestern societies. Individual sections include discussions on household labor, firms and corporatations, and state and transnational conditions. This book will be a valuable resource for scholars, students, and interested readers of international economics, anthropology, development issues, labor studies, and sociology.
The Northmen’s Fury tells the Viking story, from the first pinprick raids of the eighth century to the great armies that left their Scandinavian homelands to conquer larger parts of France, Britain and Ireland. It recounts the epic voyages that took them across the Atlantic to the icy fjords of Greenland and to North America over four centuries before Columbus and east to the great rivers of Russia and the riches of the Byzantine empire. One summer’s day in 793, death arrived from the sea. The raiders who sacked the island monastery of Lindisfarne were the first Vikings, sea-borne attackers who brought two centuries of terror to northern Europe. Before long the sight of their dragon-prowed longships and the very name of Viking gave rise to fear and dread, so much so that monks were reputed to pray each night for delivery from ‘the Northmen’s Fury’. Yet for all their reputation as bloodthirsty warriors, the Vikings possessed a sophisticated culture that produced art of great beauty, literature of abiding power and kingdoms of surprising endurance. The Northmen’s Fury describes how and why a region at the edge of Europe came to dominate and to terrorise much of the rest of the continent for nearly three centuries and how, in the end, the coming of Christianity and the growing power of kings tempered the Viking ferocity and stemmed the tide of raids. It relates the astonishing achievement of the Vikings in forging far-flung empires whose sinews were the sea and whose arteries were not roads but maritime trading routes. The blood of the Vikings runs in millions of veins in Europe and the Americas and the tale of their conquests, explorations and achievements continues to inspire people around the world.
How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed: Revised Edition
Author: Jared Diamond
In Jared Diamond’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted. As in Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond traces the fundamental pattern of catastrophe, and weaves an all-encompassing global thesis through a series of fascinating historical-cultural narratives. Collapse moves from the Polynesian cultures on Easter Island to the flourishing American civilizations of the Anasazi and the Maya and finally to the doomed Viking colony on Greenland. Similar problems face us today and have already brought disaster to Rwanda and Haiti, even as China and Australia are trying to cope in innovative ways. Despite our own society’s apparently inexhaustible wealth and unrivaled political power, ominous warning signs have begun to emerge even in ecologically robust areas like Montana. Brilliant, illuminating, and immensely absorbing, Collapse is destined to take its place as one of the essential books of our time, raising the urgent question: How can our world best avoid committing ecological suicide? From the Trade Paperback edition.
What an Ancient Form of Social Organization Reveals About the Future of Individual Freedom
Author: Mark S. Weiner
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Category: Political Science
A revealing look at the role kin-based societies have played throughout history and around the world A lively, wide-ranging meditation on human development that offers surprising lessons for the future of modern individualism, The Rule of the Clan examines the constitutional principles and cultural institutions of kin-based societies, from medieval Iceland to modern Pakistan. Mark S. Weiner, an expert in constitutional law and legal history, shows us that true individual freedom depends on the existence of a robust state dedicated to the public interest. In the absence of a healthy state, he explains, humans naturally tend to create legal structures centered not on individuals but rather on extended family groups. The modern liberal state makes individualism possible by keeping this powerful drive in check—and we ignore the continuing threat to liberal values and institutions at our peril. At the same time, for modern individualism to survive, liberals must also acknowledge the profound social and psychological benefits the rule of the clan provides and recognize the loss humanity sustains in its transition to modernity. Masterfully argued and filled with rich historical detail, Weiner's investigation speaks both to modern liberal societies and to developing nations riven by "clannism," including Muslim societies in the wake of the Arab Spring.
This major survey of Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culturedemonstrates the remarkable continuity of Icelandic language andculture from medieval to modern times. Comprises 29 chapters written by leading scholars in thefield Reflects current debates among Old Norse-Icelandicscholars Pays attention to previously neglected areas of study, such asthe sagas of Icelandic bishops and the fantasy sagas Looks at the ways Old Norse-Icelandic literature is used bymodern writers, artists and film directors, both within and outsideScandinavia Sets Old Norse-Icelandic language and literature in its widercultural context
This collection of papers offers views of the interation and interdependence of Celtic and Norse populations in the the Irish Sea region in the period 800 A.D.-1200 A.D., bringing together the work of historians, archaeologists, art- and religious-historians and philologists
This book discussed the processes by which the Gaelic kingdom of Alba established its mastery over the lesser kingdoms of northern mainland Britain and transformed itself into a state recognisable as Scotland.