By Magnús Fjalldal
Medieval Icelandic authors wrote very much as regards to 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 appreciate to its language, tradition, heritage, and geography.
Some of the texts Fjalldal examines contain relatives sagas, the shorter þættir, the histories of Norwegian and Danish kings, and the Icelandic lives of Anglo-Saxon saints. Fjalldal unearths that during reaction to a antagonistic Norwegian courtroom and kings, Icelandic authors – from the early 13th century onwards (although they have been quite poorly proficient approximately England ahead of 1066) – created a principally imaginary kingdom the place pleasant, beneficiant, even if fairly useless kings residing below consistent hazard welcomed the help of saga heroes to resolve their problems.
The England of Icelandic medieval texts is extra of a degree than a rustic, and mainly capabilities to supply saga heroes with reputation out of the country. in view that a lot of those texts are infrequently tested outdoors of Iceland or within the English language, Fjalldal's ebook is critical for students of either medieval Norse tradition and Anglo-Saxon England.
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Extra resources for Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts
According to the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, Eiríkr did indeed rule over Northumbria for a time, coming to power in 948, but by then King Athelstan had been dead for nine years. The English king who had to deal with Eiríkr was, as it happens, neither Athelstan nor Edmund but Eadred, and he did so by launching an attack on Northumbria in the same year that Eiríkr began his rule. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle further relates that Eiríkr was betrayed and killed at Stainmoor, in Westmoreland, in 954. King Ólafr Tryggvason As I shall later discuss, Heimskringla, Ágrip, and Fagrskinna are strangely silent about the military exploits of Ólafr Tryggvason in the 990s, whereas the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has much to say about a certain Anlaf who terrorized England during that period.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle account is certainly a gruesome story, and one might be tempted to surmise that Icelandic writers of history did not find it fitting to relate the brutalities with which the Chronicle credits Ólafr because he was about to become one of the most forceful missionary kings that Norway – and Iceland, for that matter – had ever seen. ) But this is not a very satisfactory explanation, because we are considering at least three different authors, and they hardly all thought alike.
The first of these – fashionable during much of the century – rested on the belief that Norse and English had been mutually incomprehensible, and stressed the idea that bilingual speakers had been common in both communities and that translators had been used if needed. This theory died hard and was, according to Barnes, still being advocated in the 1980s,43 when it was finally swept aside by new ideas. 20 Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts By then linguists had become interested in the development of pidgin languages and creoles, and many scholars saw such hybrid languages as the key to understanding communication between Norse and English speakers.
Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts by Magnús Fjalldal