Miller, William Ian. The Trial of Flosi and the Battle: Chapters 135, 141–5

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  • Author: Miller, William Ian
  • Title: The Trial of Flosi and the Battle: Chapters 135, 141–5
  • Published in: Why Is Your Axe Bloody?: A Reading of Njáls Saga
  • Place, Publisher: New York: Oxford University Press
  • Year: 2014
  • Pages: 259-75
  • E-text:
  • Reference: Miller, William Ian. Why Is Your Axe Bloody?: A Reading of Njáls Saga. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014.

  • Key words:

Contents

Annotation

The chapter begins with stressing the entertaining value of the saga’s descriptions of practiced law. Miller reacts to other scholars, who argued that Icelandic law in Njála is described as powerless to stop the ensuing violence, and suggests that the author rather painted a complex picture of legal workings. “Tricksterism”, or the manipulation of the law, is inherent to the legal system and is taken into account, but the battle at the Alþingi indicates an institutional failure. Miller then surveys Mörðr and Eyjólfr‘s pleading and indicates consistency and discordances with actual Old Icelandic law. Examining the three law-men Eyjólfr, Mörðr, and Þórhallr, Miller looks at the different legal and character aspects revealed in the text.

Lýsing

Í upphafi kaflans er bent á hve mikið er lagt upp úr skemmtanagildi þeirra frásagna sem snúa að lögum. Miller svara þeirri túlkun að lögin á Íslandi, eins og þau birtast í Njálu, séu ófær um að stöðva ofbeldið innan sögunnar. Hann segir að höfundur máli flókna mynd af laga rammanum og kerfinu sem heldur utan um hann. Bragðvísi eða hagræðing laganna er innifalin í kerfinu og tekin með í reikninginn en bardaginn að Alþingi gefur til kynna ákveðin stofnbrest í kerfinu. Miller kannar síðan málflutning Marðar og Eyjólfs og ber hann saman við gamlar íslenskar lagabækur. Þegar hann rannsakar lögsögumennina Eyjólf, Mörð og Þórhall lítur Miller á mismunandi lagaleg og persónuleg viðhorf sem koma fram í textanum.

See also


References

Chapter 145: lagði Þórhallur til hans spjótinu: "That was the first killing of the battle, the act of the best lawyer in Iceland. The symbolism is as obvious as out author is likely to make it. But the law has failed in the trail of the Burners not because the problem is one with the law, or because the law is corrupt, or because the law is stupid, but because the problem is political and institutional (or more precisely the absence of institutions) more than it is legal." (p. 264).

Links

  • Written by: Yoav Tirosh
  • Icelandic translation: Andri M. Kristjánsson
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