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Landscape, Tradition and Power in Medieval Iceland

Dalir and the Eyjafjörður region c.870-c.1265

Chris Callow

Chris Callow’s Landscape, Tradition and Power critically examines the evidence for socio-political developments in medieval Iceland during the so-called Commonwealth period. The book compares regions in the west and north-east of Iceland because these regions had differing human and physical geographies, and contrasting levels of surviving written evidence. Callow sets out the likely economies and institutional frameworks in which political action took place. He then examines different forms of evidence – the Contemporary sagas, Landnámabók (The Book of Settlements), and Sagas of Icelanders – considering how each describes different periods of the Commonwealth present political power. Among its conclusions the book emphasises stasis over change and the need to appreciate the nuances and purposes of Iceland’s historicising sagas.

Northern Myths, Modern Identities

The Nationalisation of Northern Mythologies Since 1800

Series:

Edited by Simon Halink

This anthology of essays, Northern Myths, Modern Identities, explores the various ways in which ancient mythologies have been cultivated in the cultural construction of ethnic, national and supra-national identities from 1800 to the present. How were Old Norse, Finno-Ugric and Frisian myths employed as rhetorical devices in national narratives? And how did (and do) these new interpretations convey a sense of ‘northernness’? This volume approaches these issues from an interdisciplinary and international perspective, and brings together case studies from Scandinavia, the Baltic region, Friesland, Britain, the United States and even Japan. Thus, it provides a unique insight into the reception history and uses of northern myths in the present, and their role in the creation of modern identities.

Contributors are: Tim van Gerven, Gylfi Gunnlaugsson, Simon Halink, Sumarliði R. Ísleifsson, Otto S. Knottnerus, Joep Leerssen, Daisy Neijmann, Han Nijdam, Robert A. Saunders, Katja Schulz, Tom Shippey, Carline Tromp, and Kendra Willson.