Von Nolcken, Christina. Egil Skallagrimsson and the Viking Ideal

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  • Author: Christina von Nolcken
  • Title: Egil Skallagrimson and the Viking Ideal
  • Published in: Fathom Archive
  • Editors:
  • Place, Publisher: University of Chicago Library, Digital Collections,
  • Year: 2000
  • E-text: Fathom Archive
  • Reference: von Nolcken, Christina. Egill Skallagrimson and the Viking Ideal. N.p.: Fathom Archive, 2000.

  • Key words:



The author examines the ways in which Vikings wanted to be perceived, by looking at late medieval sources of 13th and 14th centuries from Iceland, specifically Egil's saga and the praise-poetry composed by Egil Skallagrimsson. In the author's opinion, this particular type of poetry reveals many qualities that Vikings valued and wanted to have. In the first part of the article the author explains the reasons for choosing Egil's Saga and Egil's praise verses as the subject of her analysis. This part is followed by a short introduction of the saga‘s content and Egil's personality. The main part of the is an analysis of selected praise verses that, as the author concludes, celebrate „the Viking's legacy“ -- ferocity and artistry, and Egil himself as the personification of both.


Í þessari grein fjallar höfundurinn um hvernig víkingar vildu að aðrir sæju þá. Hún kannar íslenskar miðaldaheimildir frá 13. og 14. öld f, þar á meðal Egils sögu og sérstaklega lofkvæði eftir Egil Skallagrímsson. Von Nolcken telur að skáldskapur Egils lýsi mörgum þeim eiginleikum sem víkingar virtu og vildu tileinka sér. Höfundurinn lýsir fyrst ástæðum fyrir því að velja Egils sögu og lofkvæði Egils fyrir greininguna sína. Síðan kemur stutt umfjöllun um söguefni og persónusköpun Egils sem skálds. Kjarni greinarinnar er greining á tilteknum lofkvæðum Egils sem róma arfleifð víkinganna -- grimmd og lisfengi, og Egil sjálfan sem persónugervingu beggja þátta.

See also


45 kafli: helgengnir för dvelja: "That Egil lived up to his early tough-guy promise is evidenced both by the saga writer and by his own verses. In one of the incidents connected with King Eirik Bloodaxe, for example, he prides himself for having hacked and hurled a trio of trusty royal servants down to Hell eternal" (n.p.).

Kafli 80: háði leiddr: "Elsewhere, however, we find Egil movingly honoring his friends, and especially his great friend Arinbjorn, and not just for being successful Vikings. He honors them for qualities we too would admire-generosity, openness, concern for others-all qualities, therefore, that he and his peers must have wanted to be remembered for" (n.p.).


  • Written by: Victoria Bakshina
  • English translation: Victoria Bakshina
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