Read up on Nīþ insults

  • Hallgerd vs. Bergthora
    • Bunch of people kill each other and exchange money.
    • Balanced exchange model - give money back to people grieved.
    • If someone is killed, you give their family money instead of blood retribution
    • Why is there escalation?
      • Blood vengeance is sooo tempting
      • Compensation was encouraged instead
    • Gunnar and Njal?
      • Abide by laws
      • Are they complicit?
      • Why don't these two do anything?
  • Gunnar vs. Otkel & Skammkel
    • Otkel refuses to sell Gunnar food
      • Njal's response -- just gives him food
      • Hallgerd's response -- steals food from Otkel and burn down storehouse
        • Husband has been humiliated, insult to family, retribrution time.
        • Once husband finds out, he slaps her
      • After theft, Otkel rejects Gunnar's compensation (on skammkel's advice)
        • Not what Gizur & Geir advised (skammkel lies)
        • Gunnar insulted, angry, because he did everything he was supposed to do.
      • Gunnar's self-judgement
        • Awards no damages
        • Gunnar refuses friendship
  • Insults
    • Insults today?
    • "Old Beardless" and "Dung-Beardlings"
      • níð - insults that questions a man's honor, masculinity, worth, sexual potency
        • Passive position in homosexual behavior
        • Illegal Insult
          • If viking, and a bad form of this was used, it's your responsibility to kill them outright.
      • These struck deep - form of níð.
        • "fertalize face to grow beard"
        • "Anal oral sex with animals"
    • Bergthora and insults
      • "gifts"
      • "you're not real men unless you repay them"
    • Actions that are inhospitable/contrary to cooperation are treated as insults
      • When fighting, pushed into shameful position is insult
      • position that is shameful => "Hands and Knees"
  • "Laughter in Brennu-Njall"
    • 2 broad types of laughter in Njala
      • black humour
        • lightens the mood, break between the killings
        • lot in last words
      • laugh of derision, attack
        • cunning and underhanded
        • "sharp-tongued" women
    • Relationship between laughter and revenge
      • "Getting the last laugh"
  • Pay attention to
    • Beards