Thursday 2. September 2010

Warrior Codes in Saga-age Iceland

Dr. William R. Short.
Dr. William R. Short.
Dr. William R. Short will be the guest lecturer of this autumn´s first lunch lecture which will take place on September 3. In his lecture, Dr. Short will talk about some aspects of the warrior code of the Viking age, drawing examples from the Sagas of Icelanders. Many warrior societies in history had a warrior code: a set of rules and laws that fighters carried within their hearts and which guided their behavior in battle.


Saga-age Iceland was a farming society, not a warrior society, yet the sagas suggest that some of these men followed a strict warrior code. Drengir were honorable men who observed these rules and were admired, while dishonorable men who ignored the code were called níðingar.


Understanding the warrior code and how it guided a fighting man's behavior in the chaos, noise, and pain of a battle helps us understand more about the culture and society of the Viking-age people.


Dr. Short is an independent scholar and author, specializing in Viking-age topics. Most of his research has been conducted at the Higgins Armory Museum, a museum of arms and armor in Worcester, MA, USA. At the museum, he regularly lectures on Viking weapons and their place in the society of the Viking-age people, and he demonstrates and teaches Viking-age combat techniques. His most recent books include Viking Weapons and Combat Techniques published in 2009, and Icelanders in the Viking Age published in 2010.


Dr. Short is now working on another book that combines his interest in the sagas with his interest in Viking-age weapons and their use. The book looks at the warrior code of the Viking-age fighting men.


Further information:


The lunch lecture is an open lecture and will be held at the University Centre coffee room starting at 12.10.