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The Document Analysis Assignment is to read The Vinland Sagas


The Document Analysis Assignment is to read The Vinland Sagas. (Please note that book titles are italicized.) Be sure to read the translation by Keneva Kunz. You are to write an analysis of it emphasising what we can learn about Norse life around the year 1000 from these saga accounts. If you focus on the sagas themselves and skip the introduction, you only need to examine 48 pages. Look at these four things: • the inter-action between pagan and Christian; • the role of women as actually depicted in the sagas; • the Norse way of life; and • the reasons why the Vinland colonisation attempts failed. You may focus on one of these aspects if you wish. The assignment is to be from 800 to 1000 words long. References to the Vinland Sagas book are to be footnoted in the Chicago style with exact page numbers. (No footnotes in parentheses!) The first footnote is to be in full Chicago style but all the others should be shortened. The review will be written in formal academic English. Do not use any other sources. • There must be at least two direct quotations from the sagas. Direct quotations must be footnoted. Indirect usage (paraphrases, facts, and ideas) must be footnoted as well. (See sample footnotes below.) • The assignment will be marked on style, presentation, and use of information. • Use twelve-point type and double space. • Have a cover page with the title of your review, your name, your student number, the course number and section, date submitted, your professor’s name (Prof. Howard Hisdal) and the word count. Please include the job title “Prof” in front of Howard Hisdal’s name. Please note: this book is NOT A NOVEL nor is it a “read”. It is a collection of two sagas or Norse historical stories, which were originally oral history but were later written down. Also, please note that this exercise involves you actually reading the sagas and commenting upon them. You are not to do a review of the introduction, the cover jacket, the articles at the end of the book, nor are you to refer to or use outside sources. Also, this is not an English Book Review, this is an historical analysis. Read the actual primary source, pages 3-50, and write your thoughts on it. The Story: To avoid confusion here is the basic narrative of The Vinland Sagas. Eirik the Red, a Norse warrior chief is exiled from Norway because of some killings; he settles in Iceland but kills some neighbours and is exiled from Iceland. He explores westward and finds a glacier covered land he names Greenland for real estate promotion reasons. He settles there with other Icelanders on the few fjords suitable for grazing cows. A Norwegian merchant, Bjarni Herjolfsson, sails to see his father Herjolf in Iceland but finds he has gone west to Greenland. Bjarni sails west but misses Greenland and finds a great land covered with forests. He does not land but sails back and right into the fjord in Greenland that has his father’s farm. The other Norse criticize him for not landing in the new land. Leif the Lucky, Eirik’s son, buys Bjarni’s ship and sails west in what is probably the year 1000. He discovers a land covered by flat stones that he names Helluland (stone slab land), he sails south and finds a land covered by forests which he names Markland (forest land), he sails further south and finds a pleasant land with meadows and grapes that he names Vinland (Wineland). He builds some long houses and stays the winter. He sails back to Greenland and tells everyone what he has found. Other family members come out and attempt settlements in North America but fail. Until archeologists found an actual Norse settlement in Newfoundland in 1960, these tales were thought to be fiction. Warning: Do not hunt the internet for articles on the Vinland Sagas to send in as your essay. This is academic dishonesty or plagiarism. It will result in a grade of 0/10 marks. Do not use computer enhanced writing programs. This will also result in a failed essay.

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