Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts by Magnús Fjalldal PDF
By Magnús Fjalldal
Medieval Icelandic authors wrote very much almost about England and the English. This new paintings by way of Magnús Fjalldal is the 1st to supply an outline of what Icelandic medieval texts need to say approximately Anglo-Saxon England in admire to its language, tradition, heritage, and geography.
Some of the texts Fjalldal examines contain kinfolk sagas, the shorter þættir, the histories of Norwegian and Danish kings, and the Icelandic lives of Anglo-Saxon saints. Fjalldal reveals that during reaction to a antagonistic Norwegian court docket and kings, Icelandic authors – from the early 13th century onwards (although they have been particularly poorly expert approximately England prior to 1066) – created a principally imaginary state the place pleasant, beneficiant, even supposing relatively useless kings residing lower than consistent possibility welcomed the help of saga heroes to unravel their problems.
The England of Icelandic medieval texts is extra of a level than a rustic, and mainly capabilities to supply saga heroes with status in another country. because lots of those texts are hardly tested outdoors of Iceland or within the English language, Fjalldal's publication is necessary for students of either medieval Norse tradition and Anglo-Saxon England.
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Extra info for Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts
44 We do not know whether Þorkell was rewarded in any way for his poem, but even if he was, reward is far from his mind in these highly emotive lines. First of all, Þorkell’s eulogy pronounces his authority to comment on Waltheof’s death (‘certainly,’ ‘it is true’) and then establishes an English geographical perspective (‘from the south’) as a frame for his remarks. General Knowledge and Attitudes 31 As Roberta Frank has observed, the ill-omened icy waters seem to refer to the poet’s emotional state rather than conditions in the English Channel45 (William invaded England in September, and Waltheof was was executed in the month of May).
People died for far less than daring to accuse King William of treason and murder. Equally dangerous, as we have already seen, is Sneglu-Halli’s mock praise of Harold II, which may explain his rush to leave England after meeting with the king and delivering his practical joke. Although we do not have Halli’s poem, it is likely that it would have belonged to the negative end of royal panegyrics called níð – libellous or defamatory poems. These are best known as one of the lethal weapons in Egill’s arsenal in his battle against Eiríkr Blood-axe and his evil queen, Gunnhildr.
As Ragnarr gets there, both his boats are shipwrecked, and the reader does not know where his campaign begins. We then learn that ‘the king who was then ruling in England was called Ælla,’11 without being told where his court is located. It is certainly not in London, because Ragnarr’s sons are about to found that city, and no seat is mentioned. We learn nothing about Ælla’s lineage or family, perhaps for good reason, as we shall see in a later chapter. What thirteenth- and fourteenth-century Icelandic writers appear to have been best informed about in respect to English affairs are the Anglo-Saxon royal genealogies and the length of the reigns of individual kings.
Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts by Magnús Fjalldal