Old Icelandic Literature and Society

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Margaret Clunies Ross, Professor of Medieval Literature Alastair Minnis
Cambridge University Press, Sep 21, 2000 - Literary Criticism - 336 pages
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This is the first book to provide a comprehensive account of Old Icelandic literature within its social context. An international team of specialists examines the ways in which the unique medieval social experiment in Iceland, a kingless society without an established authority structure, inspired a wealth of innovative writing composed in the Icelandic vernacular. The book shows how Icelanders explored their uniqueness through poetry, mythologies, metrical treatises, religious writing, and through saga, a new genre which textualised their history and incorporated oral traditions in a written form.
 

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Contents

1 Social institutions and belief systems of medieval Iceland c 8701400 and their relations to literary production
8
2 From orality to literacy in medieval Iceland
30
3 Petry and its changing importance in medieval Icelandic culture
61
the evidence of references to poetry in The Third Grammatical Treatise
96
5 The conservation and reinterpretation of myth in medieval Icelandic writings
116
6 Medieval Icelandic artes poeticae
140
historical writing in medieval Iceland
161
8 Sagas of Icelanders ═slendinga s÷gur and pŠttir as the literary representation of a new social space
203
9 The contemporary sagas and their social context
221
fiction and uncertain identities in thirteenthcentury Iceland
242
11 Romance in Iceland
266
12 The Bible and biblical interpretation in medieval Iceland
287
13 Sagas of saints
302
Index
326
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