Thurber, B.A.. The Viking Ball Game

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  • Author: Thurber, B
  • Title: The Viking Ball Game
  • Published in: Scandinavian Studies 87/2
  • Year: 2015
  • Pages: 167-88
  • E-text: ProQuest
  • Reference: Thurber, B. "The Viking Ball Game." Scandinavian Studies 87/2 (2015): 167-88

  • Key words:


Contents

Annotation

Knattleikr appears briefly in several Icelandic sagas, though its rules are never explained. In the early 20th century scholars theorized that lacrosse, as played by pre-Columban Native Americans, was rooted in the Norse game knattleikr. Although there still is not significant historical proof to validate this hypothesis, Thurber applies recent research by Thomas Vennum on the Native American game of lacrosse to illuminate the rules of knattleikr and clarify some of the passages from the Icelandic sagas that depict knattleikr games. Thurber presents a synthesis of theories on the origin and rules of knattleikr and proceeds to draw parallels between the two games regarding the equipment used, the unusual practice of pairing players, and the role of the game in society. However, without further evidence, it is unclear whether the descriptions of knattleikr in Egils saga, and other sagas, are historically accurate or simply used to create character delineation and literary tension.

Lýsing

Knattleikr birtist stuttlega í ýmsum Íslendingasögum þó að reglurnar séu aldrei útskýrðar. Snemma á 20. öld settu fræðimenn fram þá kenningu að háfleikur innfæddra íbúa Norður Ameríku (áður en Kólumbus kom til Ameríku) ætti rót að rekja til norrænu íþróttagreinarinnar knattleiks. Þó að sagnfræðilegar sannanir séu hér af skornum skammti, þá nýtir Thurber nýlega rannsókn eftir Thomas Vennum á reglum háfleiks til að varpa ljósi á reglur knattleiks og fyllir í eyðurnar á lýsingum Íslendingasagna á knattleik. Thurber kynnir kenningar manna um uppruna og reglur knattleiks og heldur áfram að bera þessa leiki saman, sérstaklega búnaðinn, þá einstöku venju að para saman leikmenn og tilgang leiksins í samfélaginu. Samt sem áður er óvíst hvort lýsingar á knattleik í Egils sögu, og í öðrum Íslendingasögum, séu sagnfræðilega nákvæmar eða einfaldlega hluti persónulýsingar eða ætlað að skapa bókmenntalega spennu.



See also

References

Chapter 40: Knattleikar voru þá tíðir: „It is not clear how one would win a game of knattleikr, and there are no references to winners or losers [...] the point of knattleikr seems not to be getting the ball into a goal to earn points for the team, but to provide an opportunity for the players to gain social status“ (pp. 185-86).

Links

  • Written by: Erin Jones
  • Icelandic translation: Erin Jones
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