Culture and History in Medieval Iceland: An Anthropological Analysis of Structure and Change, Volume 1

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Clarendon Press, 1985 - History - 285 pages
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In 930, Iceland first established a common law for the island and became an autonomous republic, which lasted until it came under the sovereignty of the Norwegian king nearly three and a half centuries later. This volume is a two-part analysis of that society, known as the Icelandic "commonwealth" or "Freestate." The first section examines how medieval Icelanders classified and perceived such domains as time, space, kinship, political organization, and cosmology, linking together these various realms to present an integrated picture of the society's world-view. The second section focuses on the changes that took place during the period in the fields of ecology, demography, religion, property relations, and the law, and explains how and why these changes, interacting with more fundamental social structures and beliefs, undermined--and ultimately destroyed--the society.

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