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Viking Age Iceland

ISBN-10: 0140291156
ISBN-13: 9780140291155
Edition: 2001
List price: $18.00 Buy it from $6.19
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Description: 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 liberature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for  More...

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Book details

List price: $18.00
Copyright year: 2001
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 9/1/2001
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 480
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.924
Language: English

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 liberature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Bycock, 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.

List of Illustrations
List of Maps
Acknowledgements
Preface
Note on Names, Spelling and Pronunciation
Introduction
An Immigrant Society
Language and the Term 'Viking'
Leadership
Mord the Fiddle: A Leader and the Law
The Sagas: An Ethnography of Medieval Iceland
Resources and Subsistence: Life on a Northern Island
Turf Housing
Curdled Milk and Calamities: An Inward-looking Farming Society
Provisions, Subsistence Strategies, and Population
Bad Year Economics: Difficulties of Life in the North Atlantic
A Devolving and Evolving Social Order
Ranking, Hierarchy and Wealth
Complex Culture and Simple Economy
Privatization of Power in the Tenth Century
A Proto-democratic Community?
Icelandic Feud: Conflict Management
The Founding of a New Society and the Historical Sources
The Effect of Emigrating from Europe
Land-taking and Establishing Order
Dating the Settlement: Volcanic Ash Layers
Closing the Frontier and Establishing Governing Principles
Written Sources: The Book of Settlements and The Book of the Icelanders
Limitations on a Chieftain's Ambitions, and Strategies of Feud and Law: Eyrbyggja saga
Arnkel's Quest for Wealth and Power
Ulfar's Land Shifts to Arnkel
Thorolf's Land Shifts to Snorri Go[characters not reproducible]i
Ulfar Claims Orlyg's Land
Ulfar's Demise
The End of Arnkel's Ambitions
Chieftain--Thingmen Relationships and Advocacy
The Nature of the Go[characters not reproducible]or[characters not reproducible]
Advocacy
Arbitration and Legalistic Feuding
The Flexibility of the Go[characters not reproducible]i-Thingman Relationship
The Social Effects of Concubinage
Distinctions of Rank
Hreppar: Communal Units
The Orkneys: A Comparison
Freedmen
The Family and Sturlunga Sagas: Medieval Narratives and Modern Nationalism
The Family Sagas
The Sturlunga Compilation
The Sagas as Sources
Modern Nationalism and the Medieval Sagas
Conclusions
The Locations of the Family Sagas
The Legislative and Judicial System
Thing: Assemblies
Options
Systems of Power: Advocates, Friendship, and Family Networks
Advocacy
The Role of Kinship
A Balancing Act
Friendship (Vinfengi and Vinatta)
Women And Choices Of Violence And Compromise
Vengeance and Feud: Goading in Laxdaela saga
A Goading Woman from Sturlunga saga
Restraint Within a Major Chieftain's Household in the Sturlung Age
Aspects of Blood Feud
Territory
Marriage and Confused Loyalties
Some Conclusions
Feud and Vendetta in a 'Great Village' Community
The Language of Feud
Norms of Restraint
Bluffing and Violence
Outlawry
Friendship, Blood Feud, and Power: The Saga of the People of Weapon's Fjord
Inheriting a Foreigner's Goods
Brodd-Helgi's Revenge against Thorleif
Struggle to Claim a Dowry
Skirmishes over a Woodland
Seeking a Thingman's Allegiance
Brodd-Helgi Breaks Vinfengi
Geitir Establishes Vinfengi
The Obvious Sources of Wealth
Sources Of Income Available Only To Chieftains
Early Taxes
Price-setting
Additional Privileged Sources of Wealth
The Sheep Tax
Sources Of Income Available To All Freemen
Trade
Slavery and the Rental of Land and Livestock
Lucrative Sources of Wealth for Chieftains
The Acquisition Of Property In The Family Sagas
Disputed Property in the East Fjords: The Saga of the People of Weapon's Fjord
Disputed Property in the Salmon River Valley: Laxdaela saga
Inheritance Claims In The Sturlunga Sagas
The Struggle to Inherit Helgasta[characters not reproducible]ir: The Saga of Gudmund the Worthy
Inheritance Rights to Heinaberg: The Saga of Hvamm-Sturla
Resurgence of the Dispute over Heinaberg: The Saga of the Icelanders
A Peaceful Conversion: The Viking Age Church
Pagan Observance
A Viking Age Conversion
Geography and the Church
Early Bishops, Priests and Nuns
The Beginnings of a Formal Church Structure
Gragas: The 'Grey Goose' Law
Manuscripts and Legal Origins
Women and the Law
Marriage and the Church
Bishops and Secular Authority: The Later Church
Bishops
The Tithe and Church Farmsteads
Bishops and Priests in the Later Free State
The Church's Struggle for Power in the Later Free State
Priests
Monasteries
Big Chieftains, Big Farmers and their Sagas at the End of the Free State
Big Farmers and the Family Sagas
Advantages Enjoyed by the Storbaendr
The Saga of the Icelanders in the Sturlunga Compilation
The Storgo[characters not reproducible]ar, Not Quite Rulers
Iceland's Jarl
1262-4: The Covenant with Norway's King and the End of the Free State
The Law-speakers
Bishops During the Free State
Turf Construction
A Woman Who Travelled from Vinland to Rome
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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