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THE TROLLISH ACTS OF ÞORGRÍMR THE WITCH:THE MEANINGS OF TROLL AND  ERGI  IN MEDIEVAL ICELAND

ÁRMANN JAKOBSSON

AS SOMETIMES HAPPENS WITH MEDIEVAL HEROES, the down-fall of Gísli Súrsson, hero and protagonist of Gísla saga, has causes that are partially supernatural. This does not necessarily exclude amore existentialist interpretation of Gísli’s troubles; indeed several engaging interpretations have been proposed (see for example Andersson 1968, Hermann Pálsson 1973, Meulengracht Sørensen 1986, VésteinnÓlason 1994), which focus on the human aspect of the tragedy. This article, however, has its starting point in the supernatural aspect of Gísli’s downfall, and is concerned with the nature of one of his more potentenemies.

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