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Language of Power: Feasting and Gift-Giving in Medieval Iceland and its Sagas

by Vidar Palsson Islandica
Pub Date:
Hbk 274 pages
AU$122.00 NZ$126.09
Product Status: Title is Print on Demand - May take 4 weeks
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In Language of Power, Vioar Palsson  addresses pre-modern European power relationships that provide the context for narratives of feasts and exchanges of gifts so conspicuous in the Icelandic sagas. Viðar's point of departure considers ''comparative perspectives on rituals, the sociology of power, and pre-state political cultures in Europe,'' focusing on medieval Europe and its political and cultural heritage from classical antiquity, before proceeding to a similar contemplation of sagas of kings of Norway and sagas of the Icelandic commonwealth. In writing for scholars of Icelandic sagas and for scholars of medieval European cultures of power, Vioar analyzes in depth the demonstrative character of friendship in this pre-modern world as it derives from classical manifestations of amicitia.


Viðar Pálsson (b. 1978), Assistant Professor of History at the University of Iceland, earned his PhD in 2010 from the University of California, Berkeley.