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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by Akademie Verlag June 19, 2020

Ein rechtsfreier Raum? Die legale Situation auf den Färöern im Spiegel der ‚Færeyinga saga‘

  • Andreas Schmidt EMAIL logo
From the journal Das Mittelalter


The chapter argues for a more nuanced and empirically based understanding of the discourse on law and socio-cultural norms in Old Icelandic literature on the grounds of a narratological reading of ‘Færeyinga saga’ as a case study. It has often been claimed that Icelandic sources express an ideal of freedom based on communality as guaranteed by the law. By contrast, ‘Færeyinga saga’ represents a cynical discourse on power politics that renders law as an invariable concept obsolete and works solely on the principle that ‘might is right’. This cynicism, however, is presented in a form that leaves the narrative open to interpretation, showing that regardless of its possible dating, narrative literature can serve as a starting point for social discussion. Consequently, the discourse on law in medieval Iceland must be perceived as more polyphonic than has been allowed for by previous unifying readings in scholarship.

Online erschienen: 2020-06-19
Erschienen im Druck: 2020-06-03

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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