The first group of essays in this volume explores the links between early Norse literature, from the 9th to the 13th century, and the learned world of medieval Europe. In the second group the focus is upon the range of theme and style in Norse mythological poetry. Some of the key texts are considered in relation to Anglo-Saxon poetry as well as to the wider and more archaic Indo-European cultural inheritance. The third group offers detailed analyses of early Norse heroic poetry, of the formatic role of verse in the Icelandic sagas and of the final perfecting of prose as the ultimate saga medium. The 16 essays, taken together, are essential reading for all scholars, critics and historians who seek to understand the development of one of the world's most unusual and sophisticated literatures.
Table of Contents
Contents: Classical influence on early Norse literature; VÃ¶luspÃ¡ and Sibylline traditions; The prologue of the prose Edda: explorations of a Latin background; Eddic poetry as a source for the history of Germanic religion; The scope of the Corpus Poeticum Boreale; VÃ¶luspÃ¡ and satiric tradition; The war of the Aesir and Vanir in VÃ¶luspÃ¡; Ã“minnis hegri; Art and tradition in SkÃrnismÃ¡l; Sem jarlar forÆ’um. The influence of RÃgsÂula on two saga-episodes; Beowulf and RagnaroÂµk; Pagan beliefs and Christian impact: the contribution of Eddic studies; Le caractère de la poésie germanique héroÃ¯que; The poet's persona in the Skalds' sagas; The saga of HrÃ³mund Gripsson and Âorgilssaga; The role of sexual themes in NjÃ¡ls Saga; Index.
'...an invaluable resource, not to say essential reading, for all who interest themselves in Old Norse/Icelandic literature and mythology and can respond to the palpable enthusiasm of a fine scholar and teacher.' Parergon, Vol. 16, No. 1