Berman, Melissa. The Political Sagas
- Author: Berman, Melissa
- Title: The Political Sagas
- Published in: Scandinavian Studies 57
- Year: 1985
- Pages: 113-29
- Reference: Berman, Melissa. "The Political Sagas." Scandinavian Studies 57 (1985): 113-29.
- Key words: history, intertextuality, social reality (textatengsl, sagnfræði, samfélagsmynd)
Predominantly dealing with Jómsvíkinga saga, Orkneyinga saga and Færeyinga saga, the article notes that there are many links between Egils saga and these three sagas, especially in terms of its “un-Norwegian” attitude and its extensive geographical range. Furthermore, these sagas distinguish between the characteristics of chieftains and retainers in a similar manner. According to Berman, the author of Egils saga has not borrowed this aspect directly from other sagas but has nevertheless taken a similar approach to demonstrate the important role played by Egil and his family in both Norwegian and Icelandic political spheres. Egils saga is also marked by the same types of conflicts and characters as these three sagas.
Berman fjallar aðallega um Jómsvíkinga sögu, Orkneyinga sögu og Færeyinga sögu og ýmis tengsl þessara sagna við Eglu. Í sögunum megi greina neikvæða afstöðu til Noregs auk þess sem sögusvið þeirra allra sé afar víðfemt. Þá greini allar sögurnar frá persónuleika höfðingja á svipaðan hátt. Berman telur ekki að höfundur Egils sögu hafi beinlínis fengið þessa hluti að láni frá hinum sögunum en hann hafi notfært sér svipað mynstur til að sýna mikilvægt hlutverk Egils og fjölskyldu hans í norsku og íslensku stjórnmálaumhverfi. Deilum og persónum Egils sögu svipi einnig til þess sem megi greina í hinum þremur sögunum.
Chapter 25: fara af landi á brott: "The kinds of conflicts and characters that mark the three political sagas (Jómsvikinga, Orkneyinga and Færeyinga) apply well to Egils saga also. The major plot parts of Jómsvikinga saga - a new family of monarchs establishes power; landed men struggle against them; some found a new colony- match the plot parts at the beginning of Egils saga." (p. 126).
Chapter 88: varð maður gamall: "Finally, I said that Færeyinga saga was distinguished by its symbolic characters who illustrates opposing attitudes, and by its ironic contrast between individual fate and historical trend. This historical vision is also present - in more sophisticated form - in Egils saga: the dark and light aspects of the family represent contrasting beliefs and behavior. Those who support kings fare badly, while uncooperative and independent men live longest." (p. 126).
- Written by: Álfdís Þorleifsdóttir
- English translation: Jane Appleton