Viking society
Download
1 / 10

Viking Society - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 486 Views
  • Updated On :

Viking Society. How Do We Know About Viking Society? Settlement of Iceland Living Conditions Economy The Sagas and Viking Age Iceland Social Structure in Iceland System of Justice Blood Feud Family Sagas. How do We Know About Viking Society?. Archaeological Record Burial sites

loader
I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
capcha
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about 'Viking Society' - Gideon


An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
Viking society l.jpg
Viking Society

  • How Do We Know About Viking Society?

  • Settlement of Iceland

    • Living Conditions

    • Economy

  • The Sagas and Viking Age Iceland

  • Social Structure in Iceland

  • System of Justice

  • Blood Feud

  • Family Sagas


How do we know about viking society l.jpg
How do We Know About Viking Society?

  • Archaeological Record

    • Burial sites

    • Imports and exports

  • Place Names

    • “-by”

    • “Pedersturp”

    • “-Thorp

  • Oral and Print Culture

    • Fluidity of oral culture

    • Greater fixity of print culture

    • Christianity as religion of the book

  • Sagas

    • Wealth of information

    • “Textual” character

Iceland is major source of information about the Viking Age


Settlement of iceland l.jpg
Settlement of Iceland

  • Isolated settlements of Irish monks in islands of North Atlantic 700-800

  • Settlement of Iceland 870-930

    • Flleing Harald the Fairhaired’s Unification of Norway

    • 10-20,000 settlers

    • Taking of fertile land

  • Who came to Iceland?

    • Scandianavians and Celts

    • Chieftains

    • Genetic studies

  • Establishment of Althing 930

    • Annual meeting

    • Recitation of laws

    • Settlement of disputes

    • Least hierarchy in Iceland

Thingvöllr: Site of original Althing


Living conditions in iceland l.jpg
Living Conditions in Iceland

  • Living Conditions in Iceland

    • Poor Resources

      • Volcanic Rock

      • Lack of wood

      • Severity of Climate

    • Food

      • Dairy farming

      • Problem of preservation

    • Clothing

      • Isolation

      • Relative lack of resources

  • Economy

    • Barter and Money

      • Foreign trade

      • Domestic agriculture

    • Sources of wealth

      • Wool

      • Dairy products

      • Wood

      • Luxury items

Typical Viking-age long house

Wool: Source of wealth


Sagas as historical sources l.jpg
Sagas as Historical Sources

  • Saga are the narratives about Icelandic society and its mythology written down in Christian Iceland during the 12th and 13th centuries

  • Snorri Sturluson (1179-1241)

  • Sagas of the Icelanders(Family Sagas)

    • Njal’s Saga

    • Egil’s Saga

  • Edda Poems

    • Poetic Edda (Old)

    • Prose Edda (Young)

    • Skaldic verse

  • Learned Sagas

    • Icelanders’ Book

    • Heimskringla

  • Other forms

    • Legendary sagas (Volsung’s Saga)

    • Saints lives

Vellum manuscript page of saga


System of justice l.jpg
System of Justice

  • Social Hierarchy

    • Goði (Cheiftain)

    • Thingman (Backer)

    • Bondðr (Farmer)

    • Slave

  • The stakes

    • Personal fortune

    • Honor

    • Relative flexibility

  • Assemblies

    • Althing (930-1271)

      • National summer assembly

      • Lawspeaker

      • Lögrétta

    • Varthing

  • Local assemblies of spring and fall

    • Prosecution

    • Debt

Historical Icelandic Farm Site


Wergild system l.jpg
Wergild System

  • Amoral but pragmatic system based on compensation

  • Price of a life

  • Legal recourse

    • Oral law

    • Declaration

    • Witnesses

    • Prosecution

  • Advocacy

    • Devolved social system

    • Respect

    • Status

  • Outlaw status

19th-century version of Njal from Njal’s Saga


Blood feud l.jpg
Blood Feud

  • Causes of Blood Feud

    • Territorial dispute

    • Murder and blood money

    • Dowries and inheritances

    • Satisfaction

    • Mobilization

  • Godi and thingmen

    • Rising and falling fortunes

    • Restraint in violence

    • Long-term consequences

Outlaw Grettir Asmundarson from Grettir’s Saga illuistration


The family sagas l.jpg
The Family Sagas

  • Njal’s Saga most famous of family sagas

  • Themes

    • Honor, fortitude, heroism

    • Farmers and slaves, not kings and princes

    • Contrast to Epic and Romance

  • Style

    • Terse

    • Focus on actual social types (genealogy) rather than psychological experience

  • Typical plot

    • Introduction of daily life in context

    • Conflict emerges out of daily life

      • Marriage

      • Property

      • Jealousy

    • Tragic consequences

    • Potential for Feud

Brattahlíð, site of Eirik the Red’s colony in southwestern Greenland


Conclusion l.jpg
Conclusion

  • Maintenance of “Viking” society in settlement society, Iceland

  • So What? Relatively undisturbed preservation of unique Viking heritage, which provides knowledge of Viking period

  • Sagas as historical record and compelling medieval literature, from which we can learn about Viking society

  • Insight into Viking-age, pagan society


ad