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Viking Poems on War and Peace: A Study in Skaldic Narrative - download pdf or read online

By Russell Poole

ISBN-10: 0802067891

ISBN-13: 9780802067890

The previous Norse and Icelandic poets have left us vibrant debts of clash and peace-making within the Viking Age. Russell G. Poole's editorial and important research finds a lot concerning the texts themselves, the occasions that they describe, and the tradition from which they arrive. Poole makes an attempt to place correct many misunderstandings in regards to the integrity of the texts and their narrative strategies. From a old viewpoint, he weighs the poems' authenticity as modern files which offer facts bearing upon the reconstruction of Viking Age battles, peace negotiations, and different occasions. He lines the social roles performed by way of violence in medieval Scandinavian society, and explores the numerous services of the poet inside that society. Arguing that those texts express a mind-style so greatly varied from our personal current 'individualism,' Poole means that the state of mind of the medieval Scandinavian should be termed 'non-individualist.' The poems mentioned are the 'Darradarlj?d,' the place the audio system are Valkyries; 'Lidsmannaflokkr,' a rank-and-file warrior's description of Canute the Great's siege of London in 1016; 'Torf-Einarr's Revenge'; 'Egil's Duel with Lj?tr,' 5 verses from the vintage Egils saga Skallagrimssonar; 'A conflict at the Health,' marking the fruits of a well-known feud defined in a really early Icelandic saga, the Heidarviga saga; and extracts from the poem Sexstefia, one describing Haraldr of Norway's nice fleet and victory over Sveinn of Denmark, and the opposite the peace payment among those types. The texts are awarded in organization with translations and commentaries as a source no longer basically for medieval Scandinavian experiences but additionally for the more and more interwoven specialisms of literary conception and anthropology.

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Example text

The shield seems to have been decorated The Present Historic Tense in Poetry 47 with a series of scenes from myth and legend. In Akerblom's opinion, limitations of space on the shield would have dictated that each myth or legend was represented by a single scene, which would have shown one situation from the story. In the poem, on the other hand, Bragi's retelling of the stories is not subject to these constraints. Akerblom speculates that when Bragi uses the preterite he is describing events not shown on the shield (relying on his independent knowledge of the story), whereas when he uses the present he is indicating an event depicted there by the artist (1917:297).

Sons of [Ragnarr] loctbrok, set me up, south beside the salt sea; then was I worshipped, in the south of Samsey, to bring about men's deaths. 3 Par badu standa, medan strpnd bolir, mann hja byrni ok mosa vaxinn; nu skytr a mik skyja grati, hlyr hvarki mer hold ne klsedi. (Skj A2 241-2 v 3) There they bade the man stand, beside the thorn-bush and overgrown with moss, so long as the shores endure: now the tears of the clouds rain down on me; neither flesh nor clothes protect me. Heusler-Ranisch took the view that verse i originally belonged in Hdlfs saga and was borrowed by the author of Ragnars saga (Eddica minora i903ed:lxxxii).

Most of the poem is of course concerned with the future, but the beginning of the second section of the translation is an account of the historical events that led up to Merlin's prophecies, abridging the account in Geoffrey's Historia (Eysteinsson 1953-7:97). A detailed analysis of this part of Gunnlaugr's poem seems justified, because the distribution of tenses to be observed here strongly resembles that seen in the poems to be discussed in later chapters. Gunnlaugr was obviously steeped in the vernacular poetry of his native Iceland.

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Viking Poems on War and Peace: A Study in Skaldic Narrative by Russell Poole

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