What Is A Saga?


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E Jacobson answered
A saga is now a tale which is particularly long or involved. In essence, an elaborate story. It used to be a tale of heroic achievement or a tense thriller which were orally passed down the generations in Viking culture.
Men, known as sagamen, would travel the Viking Empire, relating bloodthirsty tales, filled with violence, suspense and of course lots of mutilation. They would be paid for the sagas and so it was a means of earning a living.
The Icelandic Sagas were a series of tales which actually gave a historic account of the great Icelandic families. Other sagas involved either kings or royalty or detailed how the Vikings had conquered a particular land or village.
Consequently, modern day tales which feature a long family history or heroic achievements are regarded as 'sagas', whilst in everyday speech it is used slightly critically to describe how someone turns an every day story into a saga by embroidering it and making it far longer than necessary !

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