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On the origins of Þórðar saga kakala

White, Daniel Martin; (2021) On the origins of Þórðar saga kakala. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This thesis focuses on the origins of Þórðar saga kakala. Chapter 1 reviews scholarship on the lost original version of Þórðar saga kakala (*Þórðar saga kakala hin mikla). By testing previous arguments and suppositions, it concludes that: *Þórðar saga kakala hin mikla was a “biography” of the adult life (c. 1233-56) of Þórður kakali Sighvatsson (c. 1210-56); it was written during the 1270s in the Western Quarter of Iceland; and Svarthöfði Dufgusson (c. 1218-c. 86) may have been its author. It also identifies a gap in previous research of Þórðar saga kakala’s earliest history: there has been no satisfactory attempt to establish its contemporary significance. The thesis attempts to remedy this over the following two chapters. In chapter 2, a literary-analytic approach is applied to *Þórðar saga kakala hin mikla. This literary analysis takes into account the formal elements of the extant text and reconstructed lost original, as well as what we know about the worldview of the audience. Chapter 2 constitutes the point of departure for chapter 3: an historical analysis of *Þórðar saga kakala hin mikla. After theorising about the telos of the biographical contemporary saga subgenre in general, *Þórðar saga kakala hin mikla is turned to in particular by considering the product of the literary analysis in chapter 2 within a 1270s political context. The conclusion drawn is that the saga can sensibly be considered as a work of propaganda to support Hrafn Oddsson in his power struggle with Þorvarður Þórarinsson during the period 1273-9. Chapter 3 then evaluates the ways in which Þórðar saga kakala concords with what we know and can infer about Hrafn’s political stances to appraise and bolster this interpretation of the text.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: On the origins of Þórðar saga kakala
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > SELCS
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10127060
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