Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts
Published: December 2005© 2005
200 Pages, 6.26 x 9.33 x 0.80 in
Medieval Icelandic authors wrote a great deal on the subject of England and the English. This new work by Magnús Fjalldal is the first to provide an overview of what Icelandic medieval texts have to say about Anglo-Saxon England in respect to its language, culture, history, and geography.
Some of the texts Fjalldal examines include family sagas, the shorter þættir, the histories of Norwegian and Danish kings, and the Icelandic lives of Anglo-Saxon saints. Fjalldal finds that in response to a hostile Norwegian court and kings, Icelandic authors from the early thirteenth century onwards (although they were rather poorly informed about England before 1066) created a largely imaginary country where friendly, generous, although rather ineffective kings living under constant threat welcomed the assistance of saga heroes to solve their problems.
The England of Icelandic medieval texts is more of a stage than a country, and chiefly functions to provide saga heroes with fame abroad. Since many of these texts are rarely examined outside of Iceland or in the English language, Fjalldal's book is important for scholars of both medieval Norse culture and Anglo-Saxon England.
- Old English and Old Norse: The Evidence of Gunnlaugs saga, Fyrsta málfræðiritgerðin, and Hauksbók
- Old English and Old Norse: The Evidence of Other Sources
- General Knowledge and Attitudes about Anglo-Saxon England and Its Customs
- History – Heimskringla, Ágrip af Nóregskonunga so¸gum, Fagrskinna, Knýtlinga saga, and Morkinskinna: From Haraldr Fair-hair to the Sons of Cnut
- History – Heimskringla, Ágrip af Nóregskonunga so¸gum, Fagrskinna, Knýtlinga saga, and Morkinskinna: From Magnús the Good to Eysteinn Haraldsson
- History – Egils saga
- History – Breta sögur, Saga Ósvalds kónungs hins helga, Dunstanus saga, and Jatvarðar saga
- Kings and Courts
- The Hero and His Deeds