In this gathering we talk about the remarkable Aud the Deep-minded, an impressive woman from medieval Iceland who boldly saved her family from destruction and became one of Iceland’s most famous settlers. But there’s a catch: she hasn’t always been remembered in quite the same way. In the sagas recounting her deeds, she has been called both Unn and Aud; and although they each refer to the same person, those names reflect alternative versions of both her story and her identity. And so, the aim of this gathering is not only to enjoy her impressive saga(s), but also to unravel the different ways that she has been remembered by the authors who retold her story throughout the medieval period.
Fjörn’s Virtual Halls:
Read these Sagas Yourself:
- Örnólfur Thorsson ed., The Sagas of Icelanders: A Selection (London: Penguin Books, 2001).
- Keneva Kunz trans., The Saga of the People of Laxardal and Bolli Bollason’s Tale (London: Penguin Books, 2008).
- Örnólfur Thorsson ed., Gisli Sursson’s Saga and The Saga of the People of Eyri (London: Penguin Books, 2003).
- Gwyn Jones trans., Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas (repr., 1961; Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008).
- Hermann Pálsson and Paul Edwards trans., The Book of Settlements: Landnámabók (repr., 1980; Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 2012).
- Jesse Byock trans., Grettir’s Saga (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009).
Sofie Vanherpen is an independent PhD scholar working with Ghent University on a wonderful project about Aud the Deep-minded! I implore all of my guests to explore her work and offer support in whatever way you can!
Here’s the map I promised, my friends, showing Aud’s impressive journey! (if on iTunes, click the ‘Fjörn’s Hall’ link above to view this map)
Academic Works Mentioned:
- Jenny Jochens, Women in Old Norse Society (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1998).
- William Ian Miller, Bloodtaking and Peacemaking: Feud, Law, and Society in Saga Iceland (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990).
- Carol J. Clover, “Regardless of Sex: Men, Women, and Power in Early Northern Europe,” Speculum 68, no. 2 (Apr., 1993): 363-87.
- Sofie Vanherpen, “Remembering Auðr/Unnr djúp(a)uðga Ketilsdóttir: Construction of Cultural Memory and Female Religious Identity,” Mirator 14, no. 2 (2013): 61-78.
I would like to offer my most sincere thanks and gratitude to Fjörn’s Fellowship. Without their support, this post would not be possible. In fact, this entire Hall would be nothing if not for their support and companionship. Here are the names (taken from Patreon) of the members of this Fellowship who supported me during the time I wrote this post:
Anastasia Haysler, Cataclysmit, Froggy, Jonas Lau Markussen, and Kathleen Phillips.
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