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" ""To a faithful friend, straight are the roads and short.""—Odin, from the Havamal (c. 1000) Friendship was the most important social bond in Iceland and Norway during the Viking Age and the early Middle Ages. Far more significantly than kinship ties, it defined relations between chieftains, and between chieftains and householders. In Viking Friendship, Jon Vidar Sigurdsson explores the various ways in which friendship tied Icelandic and Norwegian societies together, its role in power struggles and ending conflicts, and how it shaped religious beliefs and practices both before and after the introduction of Christianity. Drawing on a wide range of Icelandic sagas and other sources, Sigurdsson details how loyalties between friends were established and maintained. The key elements of Viking friendship, he shows, were protection and generosity, which was most often expressed through gift giving and feasting. In a society without institutions that could guarantee support and security, these were crucial means of structuring mutual assistance. As a political force, friendship was essential in the decentralized Free State period in Iceland's history (from its settlement about 800 until it came under Norwegian control in the years 1262–1264) as local chieftains vied for power and peace. In Norway, where authority was more centralized, kings attempted to use friendship to secure the loyalty of their subjects. The strong reciprocal demands of Viking friendship also informed the relationship that individuals had both with the Old Norse gods and, after 1000, with Christianity's God and saints. Addressing such other aspects as the possibility of friendship between women and the relationship between friendship and kinship, Sigurdsson concludes by tracing the decline of friendship as the fundamental social bond in Iceland as a consequence of Norwegian rule. "
This volume is the first book-length study of masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders. Spanning the entire corpus of the Sagas of Icelanders—and taking into account a number of little-studied sagas as well as the more well-known works—it comprehensively interrogates the construction, operation, and problematization of masculinities in this genre. Men and Masculinities in the Sagas of Icelanders elucidates the dominant model of masculinity that operates in the sagas, demonstrates how masculinities and masculine characters function within these texts, and investigates the means by which the sagas, and saga characters, may subvert masculine dominance. Combining close literary analysis with insights drawn from sociological theories of hegemonic and subordinated masculinities, notions of homosociality and performative gender, and psychoanalytic frameworks, the book brings to men and masculinities in saga literature the same scrutiny traditionally brought to the study of women and femininities. Ultimately, the volume demonstrates that masculinity is not simply glorified in the sagas, but is represented as being both inherently fragile and a burden to all characters, masculine and non-masculine alike.
Norwegen und Irland im 9. Jh. Bei stürmischer See und mitten in der Nacht fällt den Wikingern um Thorgrim Nachtwolf ein unscheinbares Fischerboot in die Hände. An Bord: eine außergewöhnlich reich mit Juwelen verzierte Goldkrone, die Krone der Drei Königreiche. Sie allein vermag die einander ständig bekriegenden Stämme Westirlands zu vereinen. Sie allein bestimmt, in wessen Händen die Macht liegt. Ehe sie sichs versehen, stehen die Männer mitten im Kampf um das mythische Wahrzeichen, und nur die Tapfersten werden überleben ...
Nachdruck des Originals von 1899.

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