Matthew Leigh Embleton

Musician, Composer, Producer, Language and History Enthusiast, and Author

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Icelandic Tales (Íslendinga Þættir): Three Short Stories, Norse Text, Literal Translation, and Word List

The meaning of the word 'saga' (plural: 'sǫgur' or 'sögur') translates as 'that which is said', or more widely: a 'saying', 'statement', 'story', 'tale', or 'narrative'. Also in the storytelling tradition of medieval Iceland is the short story called the 'þáttr' (plural: 'þættir'), meaning a strand of rope or a yarn, comparable to the word 'yarn' in English sometimes used to refer to a story.

The three tales in this book are:

- The Tale of The Story-Wise Icelander (Íslendings Þáttr Sögufróða), a tale about a young Icelandic storyteller in the court of Harald Sigurdsson.

- The Tale of Thorstein Shiver (Þorsteins Þáttr Skelks), a tale about Thorstein Thorkelsson encountering a demon while feasting with King Olaf Tryggvason.

- The Tale of Ale-Hood (Ölkofra Þáttr), a satire on the legal and judicial system of the Icelandic Commonwealth, and its domination and manipulation by powerful individuals for their own financial gain, trampling over the rights of the people they are meant to protect.

This book is designed to be of use to anyone studying or with a keen interest in Old Norse or Old Icelandic, clearly showing how these languages work, and the influence of these languages on English. This edition is laid out in three columns, the original text, a literal word-for-word translation, and a modern translation. Also included is a word list with over 1,000 definitions.

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