‘Of Skalla-Grímr and Social Networks’
with Cassidy Croci
21st November 2019, 4:30-6pm
C53 Humanities Building, University Park, University of Nottingham
This monthly research seminar is primarily aimed at postgraduates but it is open to all staff and students interested in medieval studies, across the Faculty of Arts. Refreshments are provided.
After a dispute with the Norwegian king Haraldr hárfagri, Skalla-Grímr sailed to Iceland and claimed possession of a large swath of land in the west of the island. The boundaries of this land claim are heavily disputed by scholars because they differ in both Egils saga and Landnámabók ‘The Book of Settlements’; however, there has been little focus on the relationships within the land claim.
In this paper, Cassidy will use Social Network Analysis and Visual Analytics to compare chapters 29-67 in Landnámabók with the land claim description in Egils saga to see how Skalla-Grímr built relationships and created dependencies in the region to establish the Mýrar chieftaincy during the settlement period of Iceland (c. 870-930). This becomes a storied lineage growing to include Skalla-Grímr’s son, Egill Skallagrímsson the protagonist of Egils saga, and Snorri Sturluson (d. 1241), author of the Edda.
This approach will reveal patterns of settlement and power dynamics in settlement period Iceland by visualising Skalla-Grímr’s relationships. Not all of these relationships are equal; he gave land to his friends, sold land to other settlers, and a few individuals even had to ask for his approval to settle. Analysing these interactions can give a clearer picture of how power began to consolidate in a few individuals and families from the settlement period to time of Snorri and beyond.
Humanities C53 is located on the second floor of the Humanities Building, near the West Entrance of University Park. It can be found on this map of the campus.
For further information about the medieval postgraduate research seminars, please contact Philippa Stazicker: Philippa.Stazicker@nottingham.ac.uk.