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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 2013. №5

G. V. Glazyrina, T. N. Jackson (Moscow, Russia)

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Pages: 247-254


The article is devoted to the exchange of gifts traditional in the medieval society, and to the motif of gift-giving that is one of the most constant motifs of oral tradition in Scandinavia, traces of which are found already in the early written sagas. Analyzing the plot and semantic features of the use of the motif of gift-giving in the sagas, the authors note that most regularly it occurs in the context of commencing relations and, in particular, of friendship that has to be maintained. They dwell, among other things, on the term vingjöf “friendly gift”. The article deals with different variants of gift-giving on departure. The authors of the article prove that those cases when it is said in the saga that “guests received gifts on departure” exhibit their formulaic nature. A narrator/author of the saga was not informed about all the farewell gifts, but describing a friendly parting he thus expressed what he “could not know” because of the “objective” character of the Icelandic sagas: talking about actions (exchange of gifts), he actually expressed what his characters were thinking and planning, namely that they parted as friends and potential allies.


Keywords: exchange of gifts, motif of giving, Middle Ages, Old Norse-Icelandic literature, oral tradition, formula


Information about authors:

Glazyrina Galina (Moscow, Russia). Candidate of Historical Sciences. Institute of Universal History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Pr., 32a, Moscow, 121309, Russia
E-mail: [email protected]
Tatjana Jackson (Moscow, Russia). Doctor of Historical Sciences. Institute of Universal History, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninsky Pr., 32a, Moscow, 121309, Russia
E-mail: [email protected]

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