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The Development of Education in Medieval Iceland

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Medieval Iceland is known for the fascinating body of literary works it produced, from ornate court poetry to mythological treatises to sagas of warrior-poets and feud culture. This book investigates the institutions and practices of education which lay behind this literary corpus, as well as behind many other aspects of medieval Icelandic culture and society. By bringing together a broad spectrum of sources, including sagas, law codes, and grammatical treatises, it addresses the history of education in medieval Iceland from multiple perspectives. It shows how the slowly developing institutions of the church melded with native practices of fosterage to provide education in an entirely rural society. It questions long-standing assumptions about the lack of Latin in medieval Iceland, and about its exceptional literacy, in the context of an exploration of how medieval grammatical learning was adapted for a distinct bilingual educational environment.

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Ryder Patzuk-Russell, Portland, USA.
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Audience: Medievalists, scholars of Old Norse and History

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