A Piece of Horse Liver: Myth, Ritual and Folklore in Old Icelandic Sources

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Háskólaútgáfan, 1998 - Fiction - 188 pages
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A collection of eight lectures, now translated into English, which clearly reappraise Old Norse religion and Old Icelandic folk beliefs. Topics include a reinterpretation of the gods and giants of Old Norse, including their genealogy, their conflicts and relationships with all nature. Adelsteinsson also considers efforts by saga writers to unite elements of Christianity and earlier beliefs. He examines sagas to find evidence for animal and human sacrifice, such as the night-time murder of a young couple in bed at the end of an autumn sacrifice recounted in Gisla saga Surssonar . This appealing book concludes with discussions of giants and elves and the art of wrestling with ghosts: a phenomenon that is still recorded in Iceland today. Extracts are presented in Old Icelandic with English translations.

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