IMC 2012: Sessions

Session 824: Law, Text, and Authority in Icelandic Sagas

Tuesday 10 July 2012, 16.30-18.00

Moderator/Chair:Slavica Rankovic, Centre for Medieval Studies, Universitetet i Bergen
Paper 824-aThe Use of Textual Authorities in Eireks saga víðförla
(Language: English)
Claire Sophie Musikas, Université de Brest
Index terms: Historiography - Medieval, Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Sermons and Preaching
Paper 824-bJudging Vikings: Ethics and Morality in Two Icelandic Family Sagas, Laxdaela saga and Vatnsdaela saga
(Language: English)
Alice Spruit, Independent Scholar, Utrecht
Index terms: Language and Literature - Scandinavian, Law

Paper -a:
I aim to study the modality of creation of the icelandic medieval Eireks saga víðförla (included in the Flateyjarbók), adaptation of the famous latin dialogue, the Elucidarium. Despite the rules of writing delivered by the Church, Jón Þórðarson, the ‘author’, wrote an exemplum. Eireks saga víðförla shows a particular interpretation of rules of writing deliver by his Church, and even a particular use of textual authorities in medieval Iceland. These arguments connect with broader issues in Old Norse Studies such as the ‘horizon d’attente’ of the audience. I believe this study might reveal the perception of the well-known textual authorities, the status of Jón Þórðarson, and what might be the audience of the Flateyjarbók.

Paper -b:
In this paper, the ethics of the characters in two family sagas are analysed according to where their loyalties lie. These actions are then compared to what the Grágás (Icelandic law) says about these actions. By looking closely at the actions of the characters, it is tried to discern if these Icelandic family sagas have a moral or ethics like for example medieval Arthurian literature has.