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Människosyn Offer Ritualer Dråp: En studie av rituella handlingar i isländska sagor
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Cultural Sciences. (Religionsvetenskap)
2014 (Swedish)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Humanity, Victim, Rituals, Homicide : A Study of Ritual Acts in Icelandic Sagas (English)
Abstract [en]


The aim of this essay is to understand the view of man as a creature in the Norse culture by studying rituals and ritual actions in conjunction with homicide. The material on which the study is based is called the Icelandic sagas, which are important source of information to the Norse culture. To achieve the purpose, I used a qualitative content analysis and qualitative narrative analysis along with ritual theories based on Roy A Rappaport among others. The questions are for instance:

- What ritual actions occur in connection with the homicide, according to the Icelandic sagas? - What are the differences in how individuals are treated in passages where the ritual actions in relation to homicide and homicide cases investigated and why?

The results show four different types of ritual acts in relation to homicide. These are rites of passage, seid, gifts and ritual acts related to the use of blood. That there existed differences between individuals in the saga litterature can be seen in the size of the tombs and the punishments awarded to various people portrayed in the textual material. The reasons for these differences were for instance, dependent upon the reputation and position which the slain individual received in the hierarchy of society, how many kinsmen the central actors had around them, and finally the honor code expressed in the saga litterature. The study shows that homicide could be both a give and take away status, which directly affected the honor of people within honor and shame system and in relation to their social relationships in the Norse society. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 39 p.
Keyword [sv]
Dråp, dråpmål, Ritualer, Isländska sagor
National Category
Religious Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-32769OAI: diva2:705048
Subject / course
Religious Studies
Educational program
Lärarprogrammet, inriktning mot verksamhet i grundskolans senare år och gymnasiet
Available from: 2014-03-20 Created: 2014-03-14 Last updated: 2014-03-20Bibliographically approved

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