ORKNEYINGA SAGA PDF

Written around AD by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history. The only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action, it tells of an era when the islands were still part of the Viking world, beginning with their conquest by the kings of Norway in the ninth century. The saga describes the subsequent history of the Earldom of Orkney and the adventures of great Norsemen such as Sigurd the Powerful, St Magnus the Martyr and Hrolf, the conqueror of Normandy. Savagely powerful and poetic, this is a fascinating depiction of an age of brutal battles, murder, sorcery and bitter family feuds.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Orkneyinga Saga by Anonymous. Paul Edwards Translator.

Written around AD by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history. The only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action, it tells of an era when the islands were still part of the Viking world, beginning with their conquest by the kings of Norway in the ninth century. The saga describes the s Written around AD by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history.

The saga describes the subsequent history of the Earldom of Orkney and the adventures of great Norsemen such as Sigurd the Powerful, St Magnus the Martyr and Hrolf, the conqueror of Normandy. Savagely powerful and poetic, this is a fascinating depiction of an age of brutal battles, murder, sorcery and bitter family feuds. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published April 30th by Penguin Classics first published More Details Original Title.

Orkney, Scotland. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Orkneyinga Saga , please sign up.

Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Dec 09, Jan-Maat added it Shelves: british-isles , read-in-translation , non-fiction , scandinavia , medieval-history , 13th-century , vikings.

At the back of this edition there is a map. And you can see that if you start from Bergen and take a big step to the west you stand on Shetland view spoiler [ is you are wearing your league wading boots with extra thick platform heels hide spoiler ] , a further half step to the south-west and you are on the Orkneys, from there you can step directly on to northernmost Scotland - Caithness, off to the west are the Hebrides and from there you can skip down the coast as far as Wales or over to At the back of this edition there is a map.

The basis of their way of life was not much like that of typical twenty somethings today, raiding was a crucial supplement to the farming and fishing, given the frequent fighting I imagine that slave raiding was particularly important to maintain a labour force to do the ploughing, manuring, milking, sheering and fish gutting.

Curiously the saga is said to have been composed in Iceland, yet Iceland is noticeable by it's absence, nobody in the sage sails north for cod, whale, narwhal tusk, or gyrfalcons. In common with Icelandic stories there is an intense emphasis on names and family connections so I expected some relationship to a patron or the composer of this work, but none was made explicit.

A common technique of the author is to dump all the names and interrelationships of an entire generation of Orcadian power players into the text and then slowly fold them into the saga with a long spoon over the following dozen pages.

Mostly the saga is the sorry tale of the Earls of Orkney. They hold their title from the King of Bergen, their obligations to him seem to be none and for the most part the Kings of Norway are not terribly fussed about who is knitting what in Fair isle or whether a cathedral is built in Kirkwall or not. For the first half of the saga we mostly have an unfolding intergenerational conflict, Earls of Orkney will have children and will insist on dividing their territory between them, occasionally there is fraternal peace, but mostly there is fraternal violence, or uncles versus nephews, with three earls battling for mastery over Scapa Flow etc.

This stage of the book moves quickly: fight, botched house burnings view spoiler [ like a nightmare version of Njall's saga you set the house on fire and the intended victims escape unseen through the smoke hide spoiler ] , skirmish, flee to Norway, beg the King for a couple of ships and men, rapidly repeated.

About the middle of the book there is the makings of a life of saint Magnus who gets caught up in conflict surprise, surprise with his second cousins. We know he is a saint because a he never consummates his marriage and b he prays as an athlete trains with pre-prayers in place of warm-ups. We also know that he is a saint because he is caught out by a cousin and martyred by the cousin's cook no one else can be persuaded to murder so holy a man and thereafter there are miracles associated with his grave despite the disapproval of his cousins and the Bishop.

The remainder of the book is taken up by the life of Saint Magnus' nephew, Earl Rognvald Kali, shortly after which the saga ends abruptly. For the most part it is a watery saga of men who drink too much and quarrel even more, particularly with their relatives.

The arrival of Christianity seems to make no difference, though afterwards we are occasionally told of odd men who still worship spirits and tell fortunes or say soothes.

Doorways we learn are narrow - so take your shield off your back first or else you will get stuck going into a church. There are tricks and traps and lots of poetry. View all 13 comments. Aug 17, E. View 1 comment. Nov 24, Paul rated it liked it. Well, what to say about this? It's difficult to review. I'd have to start by saying I enjoyed it much less than other Icelandic Sagas that I've read.

There again, I recognise its importance as a quasi-historical document and to the Orcadians' sense of their identity, and their Norse inheritance in particular.

Certainly, in Hermaan Palsson and Paul Edwards' translation the former is surely not the son of the latter? From a modern reader's perspective, though, there was plen Well, what to say about this? From a modern reader's perspective, though, there was plenty to object to. Firstly, it was incredibly repetitive. In essence, two Norse earls would somehow end up ruling half of Orkney each, having visited either the King of the Scots or the King of Norway first.

Before long, they would fight each other over the remaining half, the result depending on who was first to put an axe through the other's skull. Repeat ten times over Sometimes, Caithness would be thrown in for good measure as something else to fall out about. Did nothing else happen in the Orkneys during the centuries of Norse occupation? They spend their time terrorising innocent yeomen and peasants and killing each other in the most brutal fashion, living off the proceeds of looting and their tenants' hard work.

It's equivalent to being asked to think of terrorists or armed bank robbers as admirable. There again, I suppose some of our contemporaries try to persuade us of just this.

Thirdly, it was pretty incoherent in terms of its chronology and genealogy. Scores of names were bandied around, characters coming and going to meet their maker then re-appearing again.

This made it hard to follow at times and difficult to remember who was who between one reading session and another. And fourthly, as much as I love Norse history, the more I read, the less sympathetic I find myself towards its main characters. The society the Sagas describe is elitist and hierarchical, one where heritage is everything and those without it count for nothing. The narratives deal in Manichean simplicities, the actors either presented either as out-and-out treacherous villains or men of holy virtue though not averse to the odd skull splitting.

I'm going to read George Mackay Brown's 'Magnus' next, a novel drawing directly on these accounts. Hopefully, it'll prove more entertaining.

View all 4 comments. May 13, Karen rated it it was ok Shelves: bought-new , gave-away , non-fiction. Bought this during a holiday as a student at the St Magnus Festival, where I fell for the place and the cheeky, chunky owner of the music shop in Kirkwall , but been putting it off for twenty years because I feared, deep down, it'd be really boring. It truly was. Despite my adoration for Orkney and lust for Vikings, I'm no historian. I suspect I should've tried to find a picture book version Two stars, though, because its deadpan gore threw up some unintentionally hilarious passages, such as Bought this during a holiday as a student at the St Magnus Festival, where I fell for the place and the cheeky, chunky owner of the music shop in Kirkwall , but been putting it off for twenty years because I feared, deep down, it'd be really boring.

Two stars, though, because its deadpan gore threw up some unintentionally hilarious passages, such as: The night was pitch dark, and it was hard frost. During the night he came to another farm. His feet were very much frostbitten, and some of his toes fell off. I recently took another trip to Orkney, and was just as enchanted by it.

I was gutted, however, to find that the music shop is no more, let alone run by its previous owner Extraordinary insight into Viking Life.

Written in the s by an Icelandic poet skald. I am related to most of the Viking Earls of Orkney so reading this was an amazing experience. Shelves: three-stars , literature , scandinavian , novella , ireland , norse , paper-read , s , uk , scotland. In general I would probably not suggest "Orkneyinga Saga" to someone who has never read a Norse saga before.

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Orkneyinga Saga: The History of the Earls of Orkney

The sad tale of Rognvald and his dog being the most intrusive in my memory Striking for the grim intensity with which warriors fought for control of these little islands. Yet the author clearly also respected some figures who tried to maintain the peace. Written around AD by an unnamed Icelandic author, the Orkneyinga Saga is an intriguing fusion of myth, legend and history. The only medieval chronicle to have Orkney as the central place of action, it tells of an era when the islands were still part of the Viking world, beginning with their conquest by the kings of Norway in the ninth century. The saga describes the subsequent history of the Earldom of Orkney and the adventures of great Norsemen such as Sigurd the Powerful, St Magnus the Martyr and Hrolf, the conqueror of Normandy.

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THE ORKNEYINGA SAGA

The Orkneyinga Saga, written around AD by an unknown individual in Iceland, is the only medieval text in written specifically about Norse and Viking history in the Orkney Islands Palsson et al. It tells the story of the earls of Orkney and other famous Vikings, focusing primarily on their character and deeds Anderson Much of the history that the saga relates is hundreds of years old, so where did the saga-writer get the information and how accurate is it? In some cases, contemporary skalds would share historical songs and oral recitations that had been passed down for generations. The saga-writer then expounded upon these stories Anderson

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