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Finally I have great pleasure in acknowledging my gratitude to those people who have so willingly given me their advice and help. I am also indebted to my colleagues in the University of Leeds for their friendly encouragement, and particularly to Mr. Not only the Norse of Iceland is represented, but that of Norway, Denmark, and Sweden as well. They came to Iceland to save the old order of heroic society, and they pre- served it there much as it had existed in early Germanic times before the great kings made their power absolute by destroying the free fellowship of the small lord and his men.
Any selection of Old Norse texts chosen for intrinsic interest must be mainly Icelandic, but the other Norse records are important too. The settlers of Iceland were men of more than usual force of will and love of liberty, the best of the Norwegian aristocracy The propor- tion of well-born men there was greater than in any other Scandinavian land, and it was in the gentleman’s household that the literary arts were practised most.
The site of Gunnar’s home Facsimile of a page of Prymskvida Interior of a Norse hall Norse sword-hilt and shields Norse swords and axe-head Frontispiece facing p. Snorri tells in Heimskringla how his aspiration to be king of all Norway took definite form. lag(i)dr), (1) to leave off, give up, 6/320; (6) lose, lay, place, put, 1/1 17, 7/270, 8/53; 1/24.5, 5/329; (7) «. siip d bord y lay a ship alongside, be done, have done, command to 10/102; /.
East Norse Appendix — The Old Norse Tongue in England GLOSSARY 194 265 265 266 270 283 310 3i4 319 320 326 330 INDEX OF NAMES 403 LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS DIAGRAMS, AND MAPS Hh'darendi. King Harald’s paternal kingdom in the south-east of Norway was small, but he soon began to add to his lands.
The text of the reading selections has been adapted, with normalization of the spelling and the addition of punctuation, from the printed editions which represent the manuscripts most faithfully; a few selections have also been collated with facsimiles of the manuscripts. Harald’s victory at Hafrsfjgrd and his expedition to the west sent many of the western vikings to Iceland ; others were driven out by the Gaels — such as Au 5 r in Djupudga, who came to Iceland about 892 with a great following of Norse and Irish. It was a small popu- lation, but an important one: seldom in history has a heroic society had such readiness and power to give literary expression to its heroic life.
The accurate and strictly diplo- matic editions of the Samfund til Udgivelse af gammel nordisk Litteratur made reference to the manuscripts of many of the texts unnecessary, and I am greatly indebted to this society for permission to make use of their editions. The eagerness with which the Norsemen turned to the somewhat forbidding island is sur- prising; one would expect to hear oftener among the exiled chiefs the sentiment of Hersir Ketil Flatnose: ‘To that place of fish shall I never come in my old age.* The settlement was practically complete within the reign of King Harald. The final stage of Norse expansion in the west, the coloniza- tion of Greenland (which led to the discovery of America) was accomplished by notable feats of seamanship.
TAYLOR OXFORD AT THE CLARENDON PRESS Oxford University Press, Great Clarendon Street, Oxford, 0 x 2 6dp Oxford New York Athens Auckland Bangkok Bogota Bombay Buenos Aires Calcutta Cape Town Dar es Salaam Delhi Florence Hong Kong Istanbul Karachi Kuala Lumpur Madras Madrid Melbourne Mexico City Nairobi Paris Singapore Taipei Tokyo Toronto and assocmted companies in Berlin Ibadan Oxford is a trade mark of Oxford University Press Published in the United States by Oxford University Press Inc., New York All rights reserved. The new text is based upon the edition of Professor Jon Johannesson in the Islenzk Fornrit series, and it is my pleasant duty to acknowledge most grate- fully his kind permission to use his text. Gordon himself, without whose inspiring teaching and friend- ship in years past this work would never have been undertaken, and I sincerely hope that this revision will go some way towards repaying that debt. It is hoped, of course, that all who use it will be led further afield in the study of Norse, but in the initial stages the student will probably find it convenient to have the elements of the subject in a compact form. The West-Gautish Laws How the king, bishop, and lawman were chosen Paettae aer lecara raetaer xx. By his great naval victory at Hafrsfjqrd in 872, over the kings of south-west Norway, he finally gained possession of the whole realm ; and he completed his triumph by marrying Gyda.