Tales of Generations: A comparison between some Icelandic and Geatish narrative motifs
2016 (English)In: Scripta Islandica: Isländska Sällskapets Årsbok, ISSN 0582-3234, Vol. 67, 5-36 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The medieval Icelandic sagas known as fornaldarsögur usually take place in Norway and Denmark. Some of them, however, are set in Eastern Scandinavia, especially in Gautland. It is of interest, for its own sake, that Icelandic authors chose to write about the Gautar (Old English Geatas, modern English Geats), people whom they seem to have known little about. Accordingly, there is a reason to ask where they got the material for their stories from. Was it entirely made up, or did they perhaps know of some Geatish narrative tradition? This article seeks not to answer these questions in general terms, but rather to throw light on the topic by a case study, and deals with one of the fornaldarsögur, Úlfhams saga, which seems to have exceptionally strong connections to Eastern Scandinavia, or even Gautland specifically. Some aspects of the saga will be considered: its personal names and placenames, individual narrative motifs, its plot and its connection with images on the famous Sparlösa Stone from Viste region, Västergötland. The article reveals the possibility of an underlying Geatish story-telling tradition that might have influenced the author of the saga – and possibly also the person who carved the images on the stone.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Isländska sällskapet , 2016. Vol. 67, 5-36 p.
Fornaldarsögur, legendary sagas, the Sparlösa Runestone (Vg 119), Úlfhams saga, Old Norse-Icelandic literature
Languages and Literature
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-310196OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-310196DiVA: diva2:1058786