By Magnús Fjalldal
Medieval Icelandic authors wrote very much almost about England and the English. This new paintings by way of Magnús Fjalldal is the 1st to supply an outline of what Icelandic medieval texts need to say approximately Anglo-Saxon England in admire to its language, tradition, background, and geography.
Some of the texts Fjalldal examines comprise family members sagas, the shorter þættir, the histories of Norwegian and Danish kings, and the Icelandic lives of Anglo-Saxon saints. Fjalldal unearths that during reaction to a antagonistic Norwegian court docket and kings, Icelandic authors – from the early 13th century onwards (although they have been relatively poorly knowledgeable approximately England prior to 1066) – created a principally imaginary kingdom the place pleasant, beneficiant, even though particularly useless kings dwelling below consistent hazard welcomed the help of saga heroes to unravel their problems.
The England of Icelandic medieval texts is extra of a degree than a rustic, and mainly features to supply saga heroes with repute in a foreign country. given that lots of those texts are infrequently tested outdoor of Iceland or within the English language, Fjalldal's publication is critical for students of either medieval Norse tradition and Anglo-Saxon England.
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Additional resources for Anglo-Saxon England in Icelandic Medieval Texts
St Edmund, king of East Anglia, was killed by the Vikings in 870. 8 Whatever the reason, for the English to recall the story of Julian’s death in connection with the death of King Sveinn says a great deal about what the native population must have felt about him and other Viking raiders. Bjarni Guðnason, the editor of Knýtlinga saga, believes that the kenning ‘fjándi Engla’ and the story of Sveinn’s death reflect English views and sympathies.
However, they are not wrong about everything, and not surprisingly, the most accurate statements concerning the geography of England concern Northumbria, which is said to have been a fifth of England in size. 4 However, the author of Egils saga also adds that Northumbria is situated to the east of Scotland and then casually remarks that the only people who count for much in that region are those of Scandinavian ancestry. The history of King Haraldr harðráða Sigurðarson’s ill-fated campaign against England in 1066, which puts the geography of Yorkshire at centre stage in Snorri’s Heimskringla, does little to suggest that thirteenth-century Icelanders knew much about that region.
The assembly that Ólafr is attending has been called for the express purpose of allowing Gyða to select a husband. She quickly makes her way to Ólafr, proposes to him, and he accepts, much to the displeasure of Alvini, who challenges Ólafr to fight a battle with him and eleven of his men. Alvini and his band are quickly defeated, and Ólafr confiscates his possessions and sends Alvini into exile. Ólafr and Gyða then marry and settle down. The entry for 991 in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle tells of a Viking attack on Ipswich, and of the death of Alderman Byrhtnoth at Maldon.