COA03 - Conflict and Things in Early Iceland- 2 mins
Conflict and Things in Early Iceland
In this week’s episode we explore the growing number of challenges faced by the Icelanders as the landnám period drew to a close in the 930s. We will then take a long look at the key components of the institution the Icelanders turned to in order to solve that problem - the thing.
Along the way we will talk about beheadings over fish, witness a chieftain get given a bloody nose by a silver-wielding farmer and we will even examine the ever dodgy - if very helpful - writings of Cornelius Tacitus.
This week’s recommended reading is Debating the Thing in the North - a collection of papers edited by Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler and Sarah Semple. Covering a wide range of topics, including the origins of the thing, its religious and cultural significance and even its spacial organization, this is a must read for those interested in the legal and political history of Scandinavia. And even better - it’s available for free online.
The Saga of the People of Laxardal trans. Kunz, K. in Smiley, J. (Ed.). (2001). The Sagas of the Icelanders: a selection. London: Penguin. Available on Amazon
Íslendingabók in McDonald, R. A., & Somerville, A. A. (2014). The Viking Age: A Reader. North York, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. (Chapter 70.a)Available on Amazon
Landnámabók in McDonald, R. A., & Somerville, A. A. (2014). The Viking Age: A Reader. North York, Ontario: University of Toronto Press. (Chapter 70.b) Available on Amazon
Germania in Church and W. J. Brodribb, trans. (1877). Tacitus, The Agricola and Germania London: Macmillan. Avaiable Free Online
Finlay, A. (Trans.). (2004). Fagrskinna: a catalogue of the Kings of Norway. Leiden: Brill. Available from Brill
Byock, J. L. (2002). Viking Age Iceland. London: Penguin Books Ltd. Available on Amazon
Iversen, F. Concilium and Pagus — Revisiting the Early Germanic Thing System of Northern Europe in A. Sanmark, F. Iversen, N. Mehler, S. Semple (Eds.) (2013). Debating the Thing in the North. Available Free Online
Jesch, J. (2015). The Viking diaspora. London: Routledge. Available on Amazon
Lönnroth, Lars. The Icelandic Sagas in Brink, S., & Price, N. S. (n.d.). The Viking World. Available on Amazon
Sanmark, A. (2017). Viking law and order: places and rituals of assembly in the medieval North. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. Available on Amazon
Sanmark, A. Women at the Thing in Coleman, N. & Løkka, N. L. (eds.). (2014). Nordic women in the Viking age. Available for Free Online
Sigurðsson, J. V. Iceland in Brink, S., & Price, N. S. (n.d.). The Viking World. Available on Amazon
Vésteinsson, Orri. Patterns of Settlement in Iceland. A Study in Pre-History. Available Free Online
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