Applications 30. HANDOUT. The Phraseological Place of Bandamannasaga among the Sagas of Wealth and Power. Presented at the 11th Annual Fiske
Conference on Medieval Icelandic Studies. [Norsestock 11] Cornell University 2-5 June 2016.

Richard L. Harris, University of Saskatchewan                     heorot@sasktel.net
Concordance to the Proverbs and Proverbial Materials in the Old Icelandic Sagas http://www.usask.ca/english/icelanders/ 

1. Óspakr’s proposal:
a. Drawbacks, and Oddr’s first inclination:
ÍF 7.299-300, ch. 2. K. “Oddr segir: ‘Ekki ertu mj
ǫk logaðr né vinsæll, ok þykkir þú hafa brǫgð undir.’” M. “Oddr svarir: ‘Ekki ertu mjǫk lofaðr af mǫnnum, ok eigi ertu vinsæll; þykkir þú hafa brǫgð undir brúnum, svá sem þú ert ættborinn til.’”
b. Proverbial support of Oddr’s first inclination:
TPMA 10.138: Opt hlýtr illt af illum.
ÍF 7.131, ch. 38. Grettir kvað nú þat fram komit, er hann grunaði, at þeir myndi honum illa eldsóknina launa, ok segir illt ódrengjum lið at veita. Grettis saga
c. Óspakr’s proverbially based response (used ironically by the composer) to Oddr’s wise but rhetorically overcome reluctance:
ÍF 7.299-300, ch. 2. M. 299. Óspakr svarar: “Haf við raun þína, en eigi sögn annarra, því at fátt er betr látit en efni eru til. Hávamál 8. TPMA 1.122.

2. What is lacking to Oddr’s honor:
ÍF 7.300-1, ch. 2. K. “Einn hlutr þykkir mǫnnum á skorta um virðing hans, er hann var goðorðslauss.” M. “Einn hlut þykkir mǫnnum at skorta, at eigi sé ráð hans með allri sœmð, at hann er maðr goðorðslauss.”
a. But, Oddr’s eventually proven insufficiency for office:
Illt er að setja heimskum hátt. Guðmundur Jónsson, Safn af íslenzkum orðskviðum, fornmælum, heilræðum, snilliyrðum, sannmælum og málsgreinum, samanlesið of í stafrófsröð sett af Guðmundi Jónssyni prófasti í Snæfellsnessýslu og presti í Staðarstaðarsókn. (Copenhagen, 1830), 181.

3. Oddr’s unwise delegation of authority in the goðorð transaction.
a. Óspakr’s insincerely offered advice: ÍF 7. 303, ch. 3.  K. “‘Er þar engi maðr jafnvel til fallinn sem faðir þinn, skilamaðr in mesti ok forvitri.’” M. “‘Er þar engi maðr jafnvell til fallin sem faðir þinn; er hann inn mesti málamaðr ok forvitri.’”
b. Proverbial support ofÓspakr’s insincerely offered advice:
ÍF 7.355, ch. 10. K. passage is lacking. M. Þórarinn svarar: “Hafa skal heil ráð, hvaðan sem koma,” sezk niðr ok þagnar. TPMA 9.191.
FJ Proverb word 321. Page 179.
ráð – ... hafa skal heil ráð hvaðan sem koma Band 38, Bisk I 623. ‘Følge skal man gode råd, hvorfa de end kommer’. GJ haf varianten: þó heimskr kenni. Aasen: ‘Ei god råd skal ein fylgja, kvar so ho kjem infrå’.
Saxo (Kallstenius) 28.66. Verum prudencie monitor, tametsi despicabilis uideatur, respuendus non est.
c. Community opinion of Oddr’s foolish decision in favor of Óspakr:
ÍF 7. 304, ch. 3.  K. “Tíðr
œtt var um þetta; þykkir Oddr mikit vald þessum manni í hendr hafa fengit.” M. “. . . ok var margtalat um þetta mál; þykkir Oddr mikit vald hafa þessum manni í hendr fengit.”

4. Ófeigr’s wisdom:
Ófeigr is obviously of traditional leader class, his farm associated with an earlier goðorð. Impractical, his residual wealth remains in land, but not in goods. Yet he practices the traditional honor-based largesse of the aristocratic class.  Oddr is a good person, lucky, practical, with new values: entrepreneurial, popular, trusted, flourishes as a merchant. However, negligence of precautionary traditional values proves dangerous for him:

5. Oddr’s mistakes:

a. Associates with a Óspakr, a bad man.
b. By buying goðorð as a condition of his honor, he neglects or ignores the pre-requisite skills of traditional leadership.
c. By not taking good advice wherever it comes from—that is, by relying upon Óspakr, the bad man himself for leadership of the goðorð —he by-passes his father as the sensible choice of goðorð caretaker.
d. He later fumbles the legal skills when prosecuting. In addition, in litigation and the traditional social behavior of leadership he is naive. His father supplies the lack.

6. Wolves and the political world of Bandamanna and Hœnsa-Þóris saga.
ÍF 7.350, ch. 10. M: including Verse 4, ll. 5-8: áttak næsta vǫl / nýttra drengja; / nús ulf’s hali / einn á króki. “Ok hefir mér farit sem varginum; þeir etask, þar til er at halanum kemr, ok finna eigi fyrr. Ek hefi átt at velja um marga hǫfðingja, en nú er sá einn aptir, er ǫllum mun þykkja ills at ván ok sannr er at því, at meir er ójafnaðarmaðr en hverr annarra . . .” Ófeigr, speaking insultingly of Egill Skúlason á Borg, of whom “ǫllum er ills at ván”.
ÍF 3.33, ch. 11. “. . . nú er vel, at þér reynið eitt sinn, hverr yðar drjúgastr er hǫfðingjanna, því at þér hafið lengi úlfsmunni af etizk.” Gunnarr Hlífarson, telling Þórðr Gellir what he thinks of the lupine voracity behavior of the goðar.

Studies of the dangers of ógæfa.
Einar Ól. Sveinsson, Njáls saga: A Literary Masterpiece, tr. Paul Schach (Lincoln, Nebr.: UNPr, 1971), 192:
“We come closest to the essence of ógæfa if we call it mein (hurt, harm, damage, disease, sore), a word which encompasses every aspect of this complex of ideas, including the connotation of sin in the Christian sense of the word, although, of course, its basic sense is originally different. Ógæfa is like an infectious disease, which is carried from one individual to another. It lives in men and in their deeds, spreading poison and infection in all directions. It is a natural phenomenon, and natural phenomena are oblivious to justice, guilt or innocence. Ógæfa infects and corrupts everyone who crosses its path and does not possess a sufficient power of resistance to it.”
The gæfa/ógæfa dichotomy in the definition of character in the Íslendingasögur is an unresolved matter of continuing interest:
Peter Hallberg, “The Concept of gipta-gæfa-hamingja in Old Norse Literature.”  Papers published in Proceedings of the First International Saga Conference [Edinburgh August 21–29, 1971], ed. Peter G. Foote, et al.. (London, 1973).
Hermann Pálsson, “Um gæfumenn og ógæfu í íslenzkum fornsögum,” in Afmælisrit Björns Sigfússonar. (Reykjavík, 1975) 135-153.
Bettina Sejbjerg Sommer, “The Norse Concept of Luck,” Scandinavian Studies 79 (2007) 275–294.
Kirsi Kanerva, “Ógæfa (misfortune) as an Emotion in Thirteenth-Century Iceland,” Scandinavian Studies 84 2012 1-26.

Socio-Economics and Icelandic Law.
Vésteinn Ólason. Dialogues with the Viking Age. Narration and Representation in the Sagas of the Icelanders. Tr. Andrew Wawn. (Reykjavík, 1998).
E. Paul Durrenberger, Dorothy Durrenberger, and Ástráður Eysteinsson, “Economic Representation and Narrative Structure in Hœnsa-Þóris saga”  Saga-Book 1987-1988; 22 (3-4) 143-164.
Helgi Þorláksson, “Social Ideals and the Concept of Profit in Thirteenth-Century Iceland, in From Sagas to Society: Comparative Approaches to Early Iceland , ed. Gísli Pálsson (Enfield Lock, 1992), 241 of 231-241.
Helgi Þorláksson, “Historical Background: Iceland 870-1400,” in A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture, ed. Rory McTurk (Oxford, 2005), especially 148-152.
Uwe Ebel, Der Untergang des isländischen Freistaats als historischer Kontext der Verschriftlichung der Isländersaga: Zugleich ein Beitrag zum Verständnis der “Hœnsa-Þóris saga”, Wissenschaftliche Reihe 2 (Metelen, 1989). 
And a useful Appendix with excerpts from texts of historical pertinence to these issues is found in Ebel’s edition, Hœnsa-Þóris saga. Mit Anhang, Skizzen und Nachwort (Metelen, 1989) 63-78.

Bandamanna saga bibliography.
Bandamanna saga, ed. Hallvard Magerøy. (Oslo: Dreyers forlag, 1981).
Clover, Carol J. “The Germanic Context of the Unferþ Episode,” Speculum 55 (1980) 444-68. (the central flyting motif)
Karlsson, Gunnar. “Goðar og bændur,” Saga 10 (1972) 5-57.
Lindow, Jon. “A Mythic Model in Bandamanna saga and Its Significance,” Michigan Germanic Studies 3 (1977) 1-12.
Magerøy, Hallvard. “Eventyrvariantar og saga-versjonar,” Einarsbók. Afmæliskveðja til Einars Ól Sveinssonar (1969) 233-254.
Magerøy, Hallvard. “The Literary Background of the Account of Óspakr’s Revenge in Bandamanna saga,” in Proceedings of the First International Saga Conference 1971, ed. P. foote and Hermann Pálsson (Edinburgh 1973) 300-334.
Magerøy, Hallvard. Studiar i Bandamanna saga. Bibliotheca Arnamagnæana 18. (Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1957).
Tómasson, Sverrir “Bandamanna saga og áheyrendur á 14. og 15. öld,” Skírnir 151 (1977) 97-117.
Wilson, R, M. “Comedy of Character in the Icelandic Family Sagas,” in Medieval Literature and Civilization: Studies in Memory of G.N. Garmonsway. Eds. D. A. Pearsall and R. A. Waldron. (London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2014) 100-128.