The Saga of the Volsungs

The Saga of the Volsungs Author Jesse L Byock
ISBN-10 9780141921556
Year 2004-05-27
Pages 160
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Based on Viking Age poems, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend and sheer human drama. At its heart are the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer who acquires magical knowledge from one of Odin's Valkyries. Yet it is also set in a very human world, incorporating strands from the oral narratives of the fourth and fifth centuries, when Attila the Hun and other warriors fought on the northern frontiers of the Roman Empire. One of the great books of world literature, the saga is an unforgettable tale of princely jealousy, unrequited love, greed and vengeance. With its cursed treasure of the Rhine, sword reforged and magic ring of power, it was a major influence for writers including William Morris and J. R. R. Tolkein and for Wagner's Ring cycle.

The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki

The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki Author Jesse L Byock
ISBN-10 9780141914091
Year 2005-06-30
Pages 144
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Composed in medieval Iceland, Hrolf's Saga is one of the greatest of all mythic-legendary sagas, relating half-fantastical events that were said to have occurred in fifth-century Denmark. It tells of the exploits of King Hrolf and of his famous champions, including Bodvar Bjarki, the 'bear-warrior': a powerful figure whose might and bear-like nature are inspired by the same legendary heritage as Beowulf. Depicting a world of wizards, sorceresses and 'berserker' fighters - originally members of a cult of Odin - this is a compelling tale of ancient magic. A work of timeless power and beauty, it offers both a treasury of Icelandic prose and a masterful gathering of epic, cultic memory, traditional folk tale and myths from the Viking age and far earlier.

Orkneyinga Saga

Orkneyinga Saga Author Hermann Pálsson
ISBN-10 0140443835
Year 1981
Pages 251
Language en
Publisher Penguin
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A Norse saga recounts the conquest of the northern Scottish isles by the Viking kings of Norway during the ninth century

Seven Viking Romances

Seven Viking Romances Author none
ISBN-10 9780141966809
Year 2005-05-26
Pages 304
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Combining traditional myth, oral history and re-worked European legend to depict an ancient realm of heroism and wonder, the seven tales collected here are among the most fantastical of all the Norse romances. Powerfully inspired works of Icelandic imagination, they relate intriguing, often comical tales of famous kings, difficult gods and women of great beauty, goodness or cunning. The tales plunder a wide range of earlier literature from Homer to the French romances - as in the tale of the wandering hero Arrow-Odd, which combines several older legends, or Egil and Asmund, where the story of Odysseus and the Cyclops is skilfully adapted into a traditional Norse legend. These are among the most outrageous, delightful and exhilarating tales in all Icelandic literature.

The Elder Edda

The Elder Edda Author Andy Orchard
ISBN-10 9780141943473
Year 2011-04-07
Pages 432
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Compiled by an unknown scribe in Iceland around 1270, and based on sources dating back centuries earlier, these mythological and heroic poems tell of gods and mortals from an ancient era: the giant-slaying Thor, the doomed Völsung family, the Hel-ride of Brynhild and the cruelty of Atli the Hun. Eclectic, incomplete and fragmented, these verses nevertheless retain their stark beauty and their power to enthrall, opening a window on to the thoughts, beliefs and hopes of the Vikings and their world.

Hrafnkel s Saga and Other Icelandic Stories

Hrafnkel s Saga and Other Icelandic Stories Author
ISBN-10 9780141961422
Year 2005-03-31
Pages 144
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Written around the thirteenth century AD by Icelandic monks, the seven tales collected here offer a combination of pagan elements tightly woven into the pattern of Christian ethics. They take as their subjects figures who are heroic, but do not fit into the mould of traditional heroes. Some stories concern characters in Iceland - among them Hrafknel's Saga, in which a poor man's son is murdered by his powerful neighbour, and Thorstein the Staff-Struck, which describes an ageing warrior's struggle to settle into a peaceful rural community. Others focus on the adventures of Icelanders abroad, including the compelling Audun's Story, which depicts a farmhand's pilgrimage to Rome. These fascinating tales deal with powerful human emotions, suffering and dignity at a time of profound transition, when traditional ideals were gradually yielding to a more peaceful pastoral lifestyle.

The Saga of the Volsungs

The Saga of the Volsungs Author Jackson Crawford
ISBN-10 1624666345
Year 2017
Pages 182
Language en
Publisher Hackett Publishing Company
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From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members--including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.

Feud in the Icelandic Saga

Feud in the Icelandic Saga Author Jesse L. Byock
ISBN-10 0520045645
Year 1982
Pages 293
Language en
Publisher Univ of California Press
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Feud stands at the core of the Old Icelandic sagas. Jesse Byock shows how the dominant concern of medieval Icelandic society--the channeling of violence into accepted patterns of feud and the regulation of conflict--is reflected in the narrative of the family sagas and the Sturlunga saga compilation. This comprehensive study of narrative structure demonstrates that the sagas are complex expressions of medieval social thought. Feud stands at the core of the Old Icelandic sagas. Jesse Byock shows how the dominant concern of medieval Icelandic society--the channeling of violence into accepted patterns of feud and the regulation of conflict--is reflected in the narrative of the family sagas and the Sturlunga saga compilation. This comprehensive study of narrative structure demonstrates that the sagas are complex expressions of medieval social thought.

The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok

The Sagas of Ragnar Lodbrok Author
ISBN-10 9780578021386
Year 2009-04
Pages 150
Language en
Publisher Lulu.com
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Although based on historical persons from the 9th century, Ragnar Lodbrok and his sons are the subjects of compelling legends dating from the Viking era. Warriors, raiders, and rulers, Ragnar and his sons inspired unknown writers to set down their stories over seven centuries ago. This volume presents new and original translations of the three major Old Norse texts that tell Ragnar's story: the Saga of Ragnar Lodbrok, the Tale of Ragnar's Sons, and the Sogubrot. Ragnar's death song, the Krakumal, and a Latin fragment called the List of Swedish Kings, complete the story. Extensive notes and commentary are provided, helping the reader to enter the world of these timeless stories of Viking adventure.

Viking Age Iceland

Viking Age Iceland Author Jesse L Byock
ISBN-10 9780141937656
Year 2001-02-22
Pages 480
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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Medieval Iceland was unique amongst Western Europe, with no foreign policy, no defence forces, no king, no lords, no peasants and few battles. It should have been a utopia yet its literature is dominated by brutality and killing. The reasons for this, argues Jesse Byock, lie in the underlying structures and cultural codes of the islands' social order. 'Viking Age Iceland' is an engaging, multi-disciplinary work bringing together findings in anthropology and ethnography interwoven with historical fact and masterful insights into the popular Icelandic sagas, this is a brilliant reconstruction of the inner workings of a unique and intriguing society.

King Harald s Saga

King Harald s Saga Author Snorri Sturluson
ISBN-10 9780141915074
Year 2005-04-28
Pages 192
Language en
Publisher Penguin UK
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This compelling Icelandic history describes the life of King Harald Hardradi, from his battles across Europe and Russia to his final assault on England in 1066, less than three weeks before the invasion of William the Conqueror. It was a battle that led to his death and marked the end of an era in which Europe had been dominated by the threat of Scandinavian forces. Despite England's triumph, it also played a crucial part in fatally weakening the English army immediately prior to the Norman Conquest, changing the course of history. Taken from the Heimskringla - Snorri Sturluson's complete account of Norway from prehistoric times to 1177 - this is a brilliantly human depiction of the turbulent life and savage death of the last great Norse warrior-king.

The Poetic Edda

The Poetic Edda Author Lee M. Hollander
ISBN-10 9780292764996
Year 1986
Pages 343
Language en
Publisher University of Texas Press
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The Poetic Edda comprises a treasure trove of mythic and spiritual verse holding an important place in Nordic culture, literature, and heritage. Its tales of strife and death form a repository, in poetic form, of Norse mythology and heroic lore, embodying both the ethical views and the cultural life of the North during the late heathen and early Christian times. Collected by an unidentified Icelander, probably during the twelfth or thirteenth century, The Poetic Edda was rediscovered in Iceland in the seventeenth century by Danish scholars. Even then its value as poetry, as a source of historical information, and as a collection of entertaining stories was recognized. This meticulous translation succeeds in reproducing the verse patterns, the rhythm, the mood, and the dignity of the original in a revision that Scandinavian Studies says "may well grace anyone's bookshelf."