In this Halloween special we tell one of the spookiest ghost stories we find in the Icelandic Sagas - the story of Thorolf Twist-Foot as told in the Saga of the People of Eyri.
The Saga of the People of Eyri is fantastic. My favorite English translation can be found here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002RI9XZQ/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o03_?ie=UTF8&psc=1
In this episode we explore the offices and institutions which made up the Icelandic Free State. Through comprehensive legal codes, accepted traditions and customs and regular, predictable assembly the Icelanders were able to govern themselves for over three centuries without a king, head chieftain or any other executive authority to speak of.
How did they do it? Well, that’s what we are going to talk about today.
This week’s recommended reading is near and dear to my heart. Viking Age Iceland by Jesse Byock is the definitive single volume history of the Icelandic Free State in English. Moving topically, Professor Byock explores all aspects of life in Iceland during the Viking Age. For anyone interested in learning more about Iceland during this period this book is a must read. Plus, you can see first hand just how often I have turned to Viking Age Iceland while researching these episodes.
For more information and to see the works cited for this episode please visit: http://vikingagepodcast.com/icelandic-free-state
In this week's episode we explore the growing number of challenges faced by the Icelanders as the landnám period drew to a close in the 930s. We will then take a long look at the key components of the institution the Icelanders turned to in order to solve that problem - the thing.
Along the way we will talk about beheadings over fish, witness a chieftain get given a bloody nose by a silver-wielding farmer and we will even examine the ever dodgy - if very helpful - writings of Cornelius Tacitus.
This week's recommended reading is Debating the Thing in the North - a collection of papers edited by Alexandra Sanmark, Frode Iversen, Natascha Mehler and Sarah Semple. Covering a wide range of topics, including the origins of the thing, its religious and cultural significance and even its spacial organization, this is a must read for those interested in the legal and political history of Scandinavia. And even better - it’s available for free online.
For all of your Viking Drinking Horn Needs - please consider checking out https://www.thefroggyviking.com/. And you can use the promocode vikingage for 10% off!
Finally, for works cited and more information checkout our website: http://vikingagepodcast.com/conflict-and-things-in-early-iceland