The Old Testament in Medieval Icelandic Texts
Title Details

312 Pages

23.4 x 15.6 cm

5 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in Old Norse Literature

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: D.S.Brewer

The Old Testament in Medieval Icelandic Texts

Translation, Exegesis and Storytelling

by Siân E. Grønlie

  • Description
  • Contents
  • Author
Demonstrates the essential nature of biblical translation and adaptation to Old-Norse-Icelandic literature.

The historical narratives of the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible have much in common with Icelandic saga literature: both are invested in origins and genealogy, place-names, family history, sibling rivalry, conflict and its resolution. Yet the comparison between these two literatures is rarely made, and biblical translations in Old Norse-Icelandic have been neglected as a focus of literary study. This book aims to redress this neglect. It shows how the likeness between biblical narrative and saga narrative has shaped the reception of the Old Testament in medieval Iceland, even through multiple layers of translation and exegesis.

It draws on a wide variety of texts, including homilies, saints' lives, world histories, encyclopaedic works, and the biblical translations collectively known as Stjórn, to explore how medieval Icelanders engaged with Old Testament narrative in the light of their own vernacular tradition of storytelling. And above all, it argues that the medieval Icelanders understood and recognised in these well-known biblical stories a narrative art that was strikingly akin to their own.
Introduction: Biblical Literature and Stjórn
1. Hebrew Sagas and Icelandic Sagas: Convergent Evolution
2. From Hebrew Bible to Old Testament: Traditions of Exegesis
3. Types and Shadows: The Old Testament in Homilies and Saints' Lives
4. World History and Biblical History: Exegesis and Encyclopaedic Writing
5. In the Beginning: Primeval History in Genesis 1-11
6. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob: Family History in Genesis 12-50
7. Heroes, Heroines and Royal Biography: From Judges to 2 Kings
Epilogue: Biblical Literature and Saga Literature
Acknowledgements
Bibliography
Index

SIÂN ELIZABETH GRØNLIE is Associate Professor and Kate Elmore Fellow in Medieval Literature at St Anne's College, Oxford.

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Title Details

312 Pages

2.34 x 1.56 cm

5 b/w illus.

Series: Studies in Old Norse Literature

Series Vol. Number: 12

Imprint: D.S.Brewer