Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Hrafnkel or the Ambiguities – Hard Cases, Hard Choices - Oxford Scholarship Online
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Hrafnkel or the Ambiguities: Hard Cases, Hard Choices

William Ian Miller


A close reading of one of the best known of the Icelandic sagas, showing its moral, political, and psychological sophistication. The saga tells of a fairly simple feud in which a man rises, falls, and rises again with a vengeance, so to speak. The saga deals with complex issues with finely layered irony: who can one justifiably hit, when, and by what means? It does this with cool nuance, also taking on matters of torture and pain-infliction as a means of generating fellow-feeling. How does one measure pain and humiliation so as to get even, to get back to equal? People are forced to set prices ... More

Keywords: Hrafnkels saga Freysgoða, Hrafnkel’s saga, Iceland, Norse, sagas, revenge, feud

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780198793038
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198793038.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

William Ian Miller, author
Thomas G. Long Professor of Law, University of Michigan

Show Summary Details

subscribe or login to access all content.