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Jómsvíkinga Saga as a Part of Old Norse Historiography
University of Oulu.
2014 (English)In: Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok, ISSN 0582-3234, Vol. 65, 33-58 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The article argues that Jómsvíkinga saga, despite its mixed modality, should be included in Old Norse historiography. A comparison with kings’ sagas and legendary sagas — in this case Yngvars saga víðfǫrla — shows how these modes were used in Jómsvíkinga saga. The saga is often grouped with Orkneyinga saga and Færeyinga saga, which were also written around the year 1200; all deal in some way with the relationship between kings and aristocrats. The reason for this may be found in contemporary events: The Scandinavian kings were strengthening their position, while the aristocracy was trying to maintain its influence. Therefore, the sagas have also been called political sagas. The oldest extant versions of Jómsvíkinga saga contain the first part of the saga, which deals with the history of the Danish Kings; this shows that the saga was intended to be perceived as history. However, a later version (AM 510 4to) omits this part, which suggests that the historicity of the saga had eroded. The fact that Jómsvíkinga saga was incorporated into manuscripts containing legendary sagas also shows that the saga may have been valued for its entertaining plot and not because of its connections to real events and historical characters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. Vol. 65, 33-58 p.
Keyword [en]
Historiography, political sagas, genre
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-241336OAI: diva2:778535
Available from: 2015-01-10 Created: 2015-01-10 Last updated: 2015-01-15Bibliographically approved

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