Andersson, Theodore M.. Political Ambiguities – Egils saga Skallagrímssonar

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  • Author: Andersson, Theodore M.
  • Title: Political ambiguities – Egils saga Skallagrímssonar
  • Published in: The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180-1280)
  • Place, Publisher: Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press
  • Year: 2006
  • Pages: 102-18
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Andersson, Theodore M. "Political ambiguities – Egils saga Skallagrímssonar." The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180-1280), pp. 102-18. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 2006.

  • Key words: history, social reality (sagnfræði, samfélagsmynd)


Contents

Annotation

Instead of glorifying the monarchy, as is done in traditional Kings’ Sagas, Egils saga describes how Kveldulf, Skallagrim and Egil stand up to Norwegian kings who wield their power with varying degrees of success. Andersson believes the narrative reflects the political conflict between Icelanders and Norwegians between 1215 and 1220, which was sparked by a disagreement between Norwegian merchants and Sæmundur Jónsson, Þorvaldur Gissurarson and other chieftains, which finally led to Snorri Sturluson becoming a ‘landed man’ of the Norwegian king and taking it upon himself to bring Iceland under the Norwegian crown. However, the attitude of Egil saga’s writer to royal power and to Egil is fairly equivocal such that both Icelandic and Norwegian audiences could enjoy the saga, albeit in different ways.

Lýsing

Í stað þess að upphefja konungsvaldið, eins og gert er í hefðbundnum konungasögum, lýsir Egla því hvernig Kveld-Úlfur, Skalla-Grímur og Egill standa uppi í hárinu á norskum konungum sem kunna misvel að fara með vald sitt. Andersson telur frásögnina endurspegla pólitísk átök milli Íslendinga og Norðmanna á árunum 1215 til 1220, sem hófust með ósamkomulagi Sæmundar Jónssonar og Þorvaldar Gissurarsonar og fleiri höfðingja við norskra kaupmenn og leiddu að endingu til þess að Snorri Sturluson gerðist lendur maður Noregskonungs og tók að sér að koma Íslandi undir norsku krúnuna. Viðhorf Egluhöfundar til konungsvaldsins og Egils er þó nægjanlega tvírætt til þess að bæði íslenskir og norskir áheyrendur gátu notið sögunnar, þó með ólíkum hætti væri.

See also

References

Chapter 31: "Egil’s premature verbal skills are a variant of the puer senex topos used in earlier sagas to signal Olaf Tryggvason’s predisposition for Christianity and Magnús’s early political sagacity" (p. 105).

Links

  • Written by: Álfdís Þorleifsdóttir
  • English translation: Jane Appleton
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