Humor as a guide to social change: BANDAMANNA SAGA and heroic values
from sagas to society : comparative approaches to early iceland • Enfield Lock, Middlesex, Uk • Published In 1992 • Pages: 111-123
By: Durrenberger, E. Paul, Wilcox, Jonathan.
AbstractThe use of Icelandic family sagas in the reconstruction of medieval Icelandic history and social order has long been contested in the literature. This issue is significant because although the sagas present a relatively full account of Icelandic life in the tenth and eleventh centuries, yet they cannot be treated in a simple way as ethnographic description. 'One crucial problem faced by any attempt to exploit them for their picture of society is the time between the events they describe and when they were written down in the thirteenth century' (p.111). In this article the authors focus on an example of a single family saga, the 'Bandamanna saga', and their interpretation of what this particular saga can tell us about the social and political realities of either the period it was set or that in which it was written. The contextualized picture of the society depicted in the 'Bandamanna saga' is then compared to the collection of sagas about contemporary thirteenth century times appearing in the 'Sturlinga sagas'. 'In the Sturlung period, people revalued concepts such as reciprocity, honor, and law, all at a discount to the political manoeuvre of the age. Their valuations and re-valuations informed their writing about the past as well as about contemporary events' (p. 112).
- HRAF PubDate
- Sub Region
- Document Type
- Ethnologist, Educator-4
- John Beierle ; 2002
- Coverage Date
- ninth-thirteenth centuries
- Coverage Place
- general Iceland
- E. Paul Durrenberger and Jonathan Wilcox
- For bibliographical references see document 10: [Gísli Pálsson]