A cautionary tale: Reading the runic message in Atlamál in grœnlenzko

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dc.contributor.author Birkett, Thomas
dc.date.accessioned 2017-04-13T14:34:51Z
dc.date.available 2017-04-13T14:34:51Z
dc.date.issued 2013-03
dc.identifier.citation Birkett, T. (2013) 'A Cautionary Tale: Reading the Runic Message in Atlamál in grœnlenzko', Viking and Medieval Scandinavia, 9, pp. 1-18. doi:10.1484/J.VMS.1.103874 en
dc.identifier.volume 9 en
dc.identifier.startpage 1 en
dc.identifier.endpage 18 en
dc.identifier.isbn 978-2-503-54734-3
dc.identifier.issn 1782-7183
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/3879
dc.identifier.doi 10.1484/J.VMS.1.103874
dc.description.abstract Of the many references to runes in the Poetic Edda, the depiction of the runic communication between Guðrún and Kostbera in the poem Atlamál in grœnlenzko is one of the most intriguing. This is due in part to certain authentic-sounding details, which have prompted a number of misguided attempts to reconstruct the message itself. In this article, I offer a reading of this much-discussed episode in light of the runic tradition in medieval Scandinavia and the treatment of the script elsewhere in the Edda, suggesting that rather than representing a realistic depiction of runic correspondence, it is best read as a poetic expression of contemporary concerns about long-distance communication within the North Atlantic littoral. In particular, I address the question of the conventional identification of this poem with Greenland, and examine the historical circumstances that may have occasioned the introduction of the runic subplot. I argue that the episode partakes in a sophisticated discourse about the possibilities and limitations of the written word, which can serve not only as a warning against the misreading of the runic message, but also against imprudent interpretations of literary texts. en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Brepols Publishers en
dc.rights © 2013 Brepols Publishers. This accepted manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license. The final published form is available at http://www.brepolsonline.net/doi/abs/10.1484/J.VMS.1.103874 en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ en
dc.subject Eddic en
dc.subject Greenland en
dc.subject Old Norse en
dc.subject Viking en
dc.subject Runes en
dc.subject Atlamál en
dc.subject Atlakviða en
dc.title A cautionary tale: Reading the runic message in Atlamál in grœnlenzko en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Thomas Birkett, English, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. +353-21-490-3000 Email: t.birkett@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.date.updated 2017-04-05T17:04:40Z
dc.description.version Accepted Version en
dc.internal.rssid 211532443
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Viking and Medieval Scandinavia en
dc.internal.copyrightchecked No !!CORA!! en
dc.internal.licenseacceptance Yes en
dc.internal.IRISemailaddress t.birkett@ucc.ie en


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© 2013 Brepols Publishers. This accepted manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license. The final published form is available at http://www.brepolsonline.net/doi/abs/10.1484/J.VMS.1.103874 Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2013 Brepols Publishers. This accepted manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC 4.0 license. The final published form is available at http://www.brepolsonline.net/doi/abs/10.1484/J.VMS.1.103874
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