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Hrafnkel or the Ambiguities


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Table of Contents

Note to Readers Acknowledgements Abbreviations Genealogies Part I: Introduction 1: A Somewhat Querulous Introduction: Hrafnkel and the Critics 2: Of Names and Manageability Part II. Economic, Social, and Geological Context 3: The Saga's Economics (ch. 14) 4: New-found Land and Setting up Households (chs. 1-2) III. Horse, Vow, and Killing 5: Freysgodi, Frey, and Freyfaxi 6: The Ojafnadarmadr (the 'unevenman') 7: Sam, Einar, Hrafnkel (chs 3-6) 8: Freyfaxi and Hrafnkel: More on the Vow and its Price (chs 5-6) 9: Hrafnkel's Offer (ch. 7) 10: Thorbjorn's Rejection (ch. 7 cont.) IV. Lawsuit ab ovo to 'Final' Settlement 11: Mustering Support and Going Public (ch. 7 cont.) 12: The Lawsuit: Preparatory Stages (chs 8-9) 13: Thorkel's Homily on Fellow-feeling and Commensurating Pain (ch. 10) 14: The trial (chs 11-12) 15: Hanging Upside-down and Sam's Self-judgment (ch. 13) 16: Farewell Freyfaxi and Frey (chs 15-16) 17: The 'True' Nature of Hrafnkel's Transformation (ch. 16) V. Six Years Later 18: Eyvind Returns; a Gridkona Takes Over (ch. 17) 19: Who in Hell Are We Rooting For? (ch. 18) 20: Hrafnkel's Judgment and Justification (ch. 19) 21: Sam's Last Gasp (ch. 20) 22: Sam and Morpheus: What Counts as Taking a Turn 23: Conclusion: Hard cases, hard choices Appendices A. Hrafnkels saga Freysgodi, translation of MS AM 156, fol. B. Glossary of Norse Terms Works Cited A.1 Hrafnkels saga, editions and translations consulted A.2 Norse sources and translations B. Secondary Works Maps Index

About the Author

William Ian Miller is the Thomas G. Long Professor of Law at the University of Michigan and Honorary Professor of history at the University of St. Andrews. He has written extensively on the bloodfeud, mostly as manifested in saga Iceland: Bloodtaking and Peacemaking (1990), Eye for an Eye (2006), Audun and the Polar Bear (2008); 'Why is your Axe Bloody?': A Reading of Njals saga (2014). He has also written books about various emotions, mostly unpleasant ones: Humiliation (1993), The Anatomy of Disgust (1997), The Mystery of Courage (2000), Faking It (2003), and Losing It (2011) about the loss of mental acuity that comes with age.


It is difficult to fault [Miller's] dedication to reading [the saga] with such a fine-toothed comb that he manages, against the odds, to say something new about a saga about which so much has been said before. * Jackson Crawford, Scandinavian Studies *
[A] tour-de-force combination of legal scholarship and passionate imaginative engagement with the work. * Times Literary Supplement *

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