Heimskringla

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University of Texas Press, 1964 - Social Science - 854 pages
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Beginning with the dim prehistory of the mythical gods and their descendants, Heimskringla recounts the history of the kings of Norway through the reign of Olaf Haraldsson, who became Norway's patron saint. Once found in most homes and schools and still regarded as a national treasure, Heimskringla influenced the thinking and literary style of Scandinavia over several centuries.

 

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Contents

II
xxv
III
47
IV
55
V
92
VI
124
VII
140
VIII
241
IX
534
XI
660
XII
664
XIII
684
XIV
707
XV
728
XVI
760
XVII
781
XVIII
819

X
573

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About the author (1964)

Snorri Sturluson's fame as a historian---his main work is the 16 sagas included in Heimskringla (c.1230), a monumental history of Norway from its beginning until 1177---lies both in his critical approach to sources and in his fine, realistic exposition of event and motivation. A similar combination of scholarly and imaginative talent is seen in The Prose Edda (c.1220). Intended to be a handbook in skaldic poetry, it preserves invaluable mythological tales that were on the verge of being forgotten even in Sturluson's time. A large part of what we know about Nordic mythology stems from his Edda. The bibliography that follows also lists the anonymous Egil's Saga (1200--30), which many expert Scandinavian medievalists (e.g., Sigurdur Nordal and Bjorn M. Olsen) attribute to Sturluson. It is a fascinating account of life in Norway, England, and Iceland and of the poet-warrior Egil, whose skaldic verse is renowned for its unusual emotional and personal qualities. Snorri Sturluson's own life was as eventful as those about whom he wrote. Returning to Iceland from exile in 1239, he again became deeply involved in serious power struggles and was murdered in 1241.

Lee M. Hollander was Professor of Germanic Languages at the University of Texas at Austin and an authority in Nordic language and literature.

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