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Feud in the Icelandic Saga

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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  29 Ratings  ·  3 Reviews
Feud stands at the core of the Old Icelandic sagas. Jesse Byock shows how the dominant concern of medieval Icelandic society—the channeling of violence into accepted patterns of feud and the regulation of conflict—is reflected in the narrative of the family sagas and the Sturlunga saga compilation. This comprehensive study of narrative structure demonstrates that the sagas ...more
Paperback, 300 pages
Published March 9th 1993 by University of California Press (first published December 12th 1982)
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Jim
May 18, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
There is no author in the English-speaking world with such a firm grasp on the subject of Icelandic saga and its background than UCLA Professor Jesse L. Byock. Feud in the Icelandic Saga is the first volume of his Icelandic "trilogy," the other volumes being Medieval Iceland and Viking Age Iceland. All are authoritative, informative, and well written.

Feud in the Icelandic Saga is perhaps the most academic of the three, but at the same time, it is perhaps the most useful as a guide to analyzing w
...more
Bruce
Jan 10, 2010 Bruce rated it liked it
This is a work of literary criticism. However, using the Icelandic Sagas the author develops an idea of what Early Icelandic society and government was like. Iceland was the first trans-marine from Europe and its location allowed it to develop its own governing system differing from those in Europe. There were no wars with external enemies nor regional wars on the island. However, there were feuds between individuals and families. The Sagas provide a glimpse of the means of resolving conflicts i ...more
Kate
Sep 24, 2012 Kate rated it liked it
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Intriguing argument for the way that feuds, and the laws governing them, in the saga tales of Free State Iceland were indicative if not mirror-reflective of the way that that society worked at the time. Well-written and interesting, with a lot of useful information about the time period in general.
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Jesse L. Byock is Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is the author of Feud in the Icelandic Saga (1982) Medieval Iceland (1990), The Saga of King Kraki (1998), and Viking Age Iceland (2001).
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