5. september 2012

New anthology: The Legendary Sagas

The Legendary Sagas. Origins and Development

Editors: Annette Lassen, Agneta Ney, Ármann Jakobsson

This anthology about the Icelandic fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda focuses on the origins and development of what is traditionally regarded as one of the youngest saga groups, in their preserved form written in the 13th, 14th or even the 15th century. A number of fornaldarsögur are based on older poetry, but some are more closely related to romances.

The subject matter of some fornaldarsögur and the oldest fornaldarsögur themselves were, during the Middle Ages, considered historical, but the function of the fornaldarsögur, along with the literary tastes of saga writers, shifts at some point, rendering the younger sagas more fabulous and fictitious. This group of sagas evidently spans different periods of saga writing and provides an example of shifting literary tastes and models througout the Middle Ages.

The aim in this collection of articles, which are grouped into the categories origins, development and generic considerations, and late development, is to cast light upon the history of the fornaldarsögur from the Middle Ages until early modern times.