05 August 2008

One More for the List

Stumbled across this the other night. From Wikipedia:
Hrafnkels saga ([ˈr̥apncɛls ˌsaːɣa] ) is one of the Icelanders' sagas. It tells of struggles between chieftains and farmers in the east of Iceland in the 10th century. The eponymous main character, Hrafnkell, starts out his career as a fearsome duelist and a dedicated worshiper of the god Freyr. After suffering defeat, humiliation, and the destruction of his temple, he becomes an atheist. His character changes and he becomes more peaceful in dealing with others. After gradually rebuilding his power base for several years, he achieves revenge against his enemies and lives out the rest of his life as a powerful and respected chieftain. The saga has been interpreted as the story of a man who arrives at the conclusion that the true basis of power does not lie in the favor of the gods but in the loyalty of one's subordinates.
So I may have to add this one to the reading list, right next to the Poetic Edda. I've been doing quite a bit of browsing of Norse myth lately. Those guys could tell some stories. I much prefer a good campfire story to nebulous modern theology.

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