Constructing History: The Use of the Past as a Model for the Present in the Icelandic Sagas

Michael Riber Jørgensen

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


The Icelandic sagas can be read and interpreted in many ways. This article examines the sagas both as literary expressions of a longstanding oral tradition and as part of a collective and cultural memory. The focus in the first part is on people and places in the sagas as “realms of memory”: things that help construct a common past and a common identity. The second part of the article explores the role of the sagas in medieval Iceland as “key myths” that explain the origin and uniqueness of a society, and as moral and legal role models legitimizing the current social order.
TidsskriftCollegium Medievale
Sider (fra-til)5-32
Antal sider28
StatusUdgivet - 2010
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Iceland
  • Erindring
  • Kulturhistorie