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The Medieval Saga by Written in the thirteenth century, the Icelandic prose sagas, chronicling the lives of kings and commoners, give a dramatic account of the first century after the settlement of Iceland. The evolution of the written sagas is commonly regarded as an anomalous phenomenon, distinct from contemporary developments in European literature. In this groundbreaking study, Carol J. Clover challenges this view and relates the rise of imaginative prose in Iceland directly to the rise of imaginative prose on the Continent.
Call Number: Online Resource (Open Access)
Publication Date: 1982-05-01
Old Norse-Icelandic Literature by From runic inscriptions to sagas, this book introduces readers to the colourful world of Old Norse-Icelandic literature. An introduction to the colourful world of Old Norse-Icelandic literature. Covers mythology and family sagas, as well as less well-known areas, such as oral story-telling, Eddaic verse and skaldic verse. An introduction helps readers to appreciate the language and culture of the first settlers in Iceland. Looks at the reception of Old-Norse-Icelandic literature over the ages, as views of the vikings have changed. Shows how a whole range of authors from Shakespeare to Seamus Heaney have been influenced by Old Norse-Icelandic literature.
Call Number: PT7154 .O5 2004
Publication Date: 2004-02-27
The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga by The medieval Norse-Icelandic saga is one of the most important European vernacular literary genres of the Middle Ages. This Introduction to the saga genre outlines its origins and development, its literary character, its material existence in manuscripts and printed editions, and its changing reception from the Middle Ages to the present time. Its multiple sub-genres - including family sagas, mythical-heroic sagas and sagas of knights - are described and discussed in detail, and the world of medieval Icelanders is powerfully evoked. The first general study of the Old Norse-Icelandic saga to be written in English for some decades, the Introduction is based on up-to-date scholarship and engages with current debates in the field. With suggestions for further reading, detailed information about the Icelandic literary canon, and a map of medieval Iceland, this book is aimed at students of medieval literature and assumes no prior knowledge of Scandinavian languages.
Call Number: PT7181 .R67 2010
Publication Date: 2010-10-28
A Companion to Old Norse-Icelandic Literature and Culture by This major survey of Old Norse-Icelandic literature and culturedemonstrates the remarkable continuity of Icelandic language andculture from medieval to modern times. Comprises 29 chapters written by leading scholars in thefield Reflects current debates among Old Norse-Icelandicscholars Pays attention to previously neglected areas of study, such asthe sagas of Icelandic bishops and the fantasy sagas Looks at the ways Old Norse-Icelandic literature is used bymodern writers, artists and film directors, both within and outsideScandinavia Sets Old Norse-Icelandic language and literature in its widercultural context
Call Number: 839.609 C738
Publication Date: 2005-02-04
The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180-1280) by In this eagerly awaited book, Theodore M. Andersson, a leading scholar of the Norse sagas, introduces readers to the development of the Icelandic sagas between 1180 and 1280, a crucial period that witnessed a gradual shift of emphasis from tales of adventure and personal distinction to the analysis of political and historical propositions. Beginning with the first full-length sagas and culminating in the acknowledged masterpiece Njáls saga, Andersson emphasizes a historical perspective, establishing a chronology for seventeen of the most important sagas and showing how they evolve thematically and stylistically over the century under study. He revisits the long-standing debate about the oral and literary components of the sagas by arguing that there is a clear progression from the somewhat mechanical gathering of oral lore in the early sagas to an increasingly tight and authorially controlled composition in the later sagas. The early sagas--including The Legendary Saga of Saint Olaf and Odd Snorrason's Saga of Olaf Tryggvason--focus on conspicuous individuals and their memorable deeds; later works are more apt to formulate the abstract problems and ideas that preoccupied their authors. As the authors begin to impose their views on the inherited narratives, the sagas become more and more critical and self-conscious, to the point where Njáls saga may be considered not only to approximate a novel in our sense of the term but also to comment on the saga form.
Call Number: PT7181 .A52 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-15
The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas by The last fifty years have seen a significant change in the focus of saga studies, from a preoccupation with origins and development to a renewed interest in other topics, such as the nature of the sagas and their value as sources to medieval ideologies and mentalities. The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas presents a detailed interdisciplinary examination of saga scholarship over the last fifty years, sometimes juxtaposing it with earlier views and examining the sagas both as works of art and as source materials. This volume will be of interest to Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian scholars and accessible to medievalists in general.
Call Number: PT7181 .R68 2017
Publication Date: 2017-02-13
Saga Collections in English
To find more translations, search the Library Catalog. Sample subject headings:
- Old Norse poetry--Translations into English.
- Sagas--Translations into English.
The Sagas of Icelanders by "In Iceland, the Age of the Vikings is also known as the Saga Age. A unique body of medieval literature, the Sagas rank with the world's greatest literary treasures - as epic as Homer, as deep in tragedy as Sophocles, as engagingly human as Shakespeare. Set around the turn of the last millennium, these stories depict with an astonishingly modern realism the lives and deeds of the Norse men and women who first settled Iceland and of their descendants, who ventured farther west - to Greenland and, ultimately, the coast of North America itself." "This new Viking edition of The Sagas of Icelanders, commemorating the thousandth anniversary of Leif Eiriksson's historic voyage, is drawn from the first English translation of the entire corpus of the Sagas, together with the forty-nine connected tales - a five-volume set published by Leifur Eiriksson Publishing, Iceland. Thirty translators were selected for this monumental project, including leading international scholars from seven countries."--BOOK JACKET.Title Summary field provided by Blackwell North America, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Call Number: PT7262.E5 S34
Publication Date: 2000-04-03
Six Old Icelandic Sagas by Contents: Foreword; Introduction; Translator's Note; Hromund's Saga; The Saga of Yngvar the Explorer; The Saga of Ali Flekk; The Saga of Illugi, Grid's Foster-Son; Sorli's Story; The Saga of Asmund the Champion-Killer; Index; Map.
Call Number: PT7262.E5 S49 1993
Publication Date: 1993-08-17
Books at UIUC: Scandinavian Mythology
Finding books on Old Norse-Icelandic Sagas is easiest with subject searching in the Advanced Search of the Library Catalog. Some suggested search terms are:
- Mythology, Norse
- Scandinavia -- Religion
- Legends -- Scandinavia
A small selection of these texts are linked below.
From Asgard to Valhalla by Whether they focus on Thor's powerful hammer, the mysterious valkyries, the palatial home of the gods - Asgard - or ravenous wolves and fierce elemental giants, the Norse myths are packed with vivid incident. But at the centre of their cosmos stands a gnarled old ash tree from which all distances and times are measured. When the old tree creaks, Ragnarok - the end of the world and of the gods themselves - is at hand. It is from this tree that Odin, father of the gods, hanged himself in search of the wisdom of the dead: a disturbing image of divine sacrifice far removed from the feasting and fighting of his otherworld home, Valhalla. This is the first book to show how the Norse myths have resonated from era to era: from Viking-age stories of ice and fire to the epic poetry of Beowulf; and from Wagner's Ring to Marvel Comics' Mighty Thor. Heather O'Donoghue considers the wider contexts of Norse mythology, including its origins, medieval expression and reception in post-medieval societies right up to the present. From Asgard to Valhalla is a book that will intrigue and delight anyone with an interest in how the Norse myths have so profoundly shaped the western cultural heritage.
Call Number: BL860 .O36 2019
Publication Date: 2007-04-27
Handbook of Norse Mythology by Authoritative, comprehensive reference incorporating the latest research on tales, literary and oral sources, and the broad-reaching cultural legacy of Norse mythology. The book describes the pagan origins of Scandinavia, the interaction between the Vikings and other Europeans, and the concept of time in Norse mythology, and gives a dictionary of deities, themes, and concepts. With 200 entries of up to four pages each, the dictionary includes both well-known characters like Thor and minor figures such as Gleipnir, the "fetter with which the wolf Fenrir was finally bound." It also includes further references about Viking and medieval Scandinavia, archaeology, etymology, the conversion of Iceland, other encyclopedias, and more. Provides a discussion of literary and oral sources and cultural meaning and surveys such themes as the mythic past, present, and future; cyclical time; time and space; and myth, narrative, and language Includes an A-Z guide to key mythological figures, concepts, and events, plus a full subject index and an extensive bibliography of print, web, video, and CD-ROM resources
Call Number: 293.13 L645h
Publication Date: 2001-06-08
Nordic Religions in the Viking Age by The popular image of the Viking as a horn-helmeted berserker plying the ocean in a dragon-headed long boat is firmly fixed in history. Imagining Viking "conquerors" as much more numerous, technologically superior, and somehow inherently more warlike than their neighbors has overshadowed the cooperation and cultural exchange which characterized much of the Viking Age. In actuality, the Norse explorers and traders were players in a complex exchange of technology, customs, and religious beliefs between the ancient pre-Christian societies of northern Europe and the Christian-dominated nations surrounding the Mediterranean. DuBois examines Anglo-Saxon, Celtic, and Mediterranean traditions to locate significant Nordic parallels in conceptions of supernatural beings, cults of the dead, beliefs in ghosts, and magical practices. These beliefs were actively held alongside Christianity for many years, and were finally incorporated into the vernacular religious practice. The Icelandic sagas reflect this complex process in their inclusion of both Christian and pagan details. This work differs from previous examinations in its inclusion of the Christian thirteenth century as part of the evolution of Nordic religions from localized pagan cults to adherents of a larger Roman faith. Thomas DuBois unravels for the first time the history of the Nordic religions in the Viking Age and shows how these ancient beliefs and their oral traditions incorporated both a myriad of local beliefs and aspects of foreign religions, most notably Christianity.
Call Number: 293 D852n
Publication Date: 1999-08-31
Online Resources and Databases
Icelandic Saga Database
Contains all the extant Icelandic family sagas in an easily readable format available in both English translations and Old Norse versions.
International Medieval Bibliography
The International Medieval Bibliography (IMB) is a multidisciplinary bibliography of Europe, North Africa and the Near East (300-1500), founded in 1967 with the aim of providing a comprehensive, current bibliography of articles in journals and miscellany volumes (conference proceedings, essay collections or Festschriften) worldwide. The IMB comprises 365,000 articles, all of which are fully classified by date, subject and location, and provide full bibliographical records.
An open initiative to publish classic Nordic literature on the Internet. Contains more than 300 complete works, including Edda Saemundar, Bandmanna Saga, and Groenlendinga Saga.
The Skaldic Project
An international project to edit the corpus of medieval Norse-Icelandic skaldic poetry. Contains a bibliographic database of works, poets, terms, and kennings used in skaldic poetry, and of poetry that appears in sagas.
A list of Icelandic and Nordic manuscripts preserved by the National and University Library of Iceland, the Árni Magnússon Institute for Icelandic Studies, and the Árnasafn.
Icelandic Saga Map (beta)
European Association for Digital Humanities
A website with useful explanations of various aspects of Viking mythology and sagas.
Internet Sacred Text Archive
Includes original and translations of Norse/Icelandic texts + notes.
Encyclopedia Mythica: Norse Mythology
Overview of Norse mythology and well-known deities/places.
Journals in the Collection