Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland
Dubbed by the New York Times as "one of the most sought-after legal academics in the county," William Ian Miller presents the arcane worlds of the Old Norse studies in a way sure to attract the interest of a wide range of readers. Bloodtaking and Peacemaking delves beneath the chaos and brutality of the Norse world to discover a complex interplay of ordering and disordering impulses. Miller's unique and engaging readings of ancient Iceland's sagas and extensive legal code reconstruct and illuminate the society that produced them.
People in the saga world negotiated a maze of violent possibility, with strategies that frequently put life and limb in the balance. But there was a paradox in striking the balance—one could not get even without going one better. Miller shows how blood vengeance, law, and peacemaking were inextricably bound together in the feuding process.
This book offers fascinating insights into the politics of a stateless society, its methods of social control, and the role that a uniquely sophisticated and self-conscious law played in the construction of Icelandic society.
"Illuminating."—Rory McTurk, Times Literary Supplement
"An impressive achievement in ethnohistory; it is an amalgam of historical research with legal and anthropological interpretation. What is more, and rarer, is that it is a pleasure to read due to the inclusion of narrative case material from the sagas themselves."—Dan Bauer, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
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why is he winging about the fact that western Europe historians have a better lot? Europeans know where Iceland is and what Scandinavia means; the problem is people from USA. Their basic knowledge is appaling
The Institutional Setting and the Ranks of Persons
2 Making Sense of the Sources
The Problem of Negotiating and Classifying Exchanges
4 Householding Patterns
5 The Bonds of Kinship
6 Feud Vengeance and the Disputing Process
7 Law and Legal Process
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able action affines Allthing arbitrated settlement Arnkel avenge award bishop Bjarni blood Blund-Ketil brother century CHAPTER chieftain church claim compensation court cousins culture debt-slavery dependent disputing process early Iceland Eldgrim evidence exchange Eyrb Eyrbyggja saga fact family sagas farm father feud formal G.dyri gift Gísli Gizur Grágás Grägĺs Ia Gudmund Gunnar Hafl Haflidi Heusler honor horses hostile household Hrafn Hrafnkel Hrafnkels saga husband Islend Jóhannesson 1974 judges judgment killed kin group kinship kinsmen kinstrife Kolbein Landnámabók Lawspeaker lawsuits legal process lesser outlawry Ljós marriage matter Miller negotiation neighbors Njal Njála Njáls saga norms Norwegian NOTES TO PAGES obligation offer one's Otkel outlaw parties payment peace PEACEMAKING AND ARBITRATION person prosecute refusal Reyk rules self-judgment servants Sigurđur Nordal slave Snorri social sources Sturla Sturlunga saga suggests Thing thingmen Thorarin Thord Thorgils Thorir Thorleik Thorstein tion transfer twelfth vengeance wergeld women
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