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Young were the years when Ymir made his settlement, there was no sand nor sea nor cool waves; earth was nowhere nor the sky above, chaos yawned, grass was there nowhere. The sun turns black, earth sinks into the sea, the bright stars vanish from the sky; steam rises up in the conflagration, a high flame plays against heaven itself. Seeress's Prophecy 3, 57 The collection of Norse-Icelandic mythological and heroic poetry known as the Poetic Edda contains the great narratives of the creation of the world and the coming of Ragnarok, the Doom of the Gods. The mythological poems explore the wisdom of the gods and giants, narrating the adventures of the god Thor against the hostile giants and the gods' rivalries amongst themselves. The heroic poems trace the exploits of the hero Helgi and his valkyrie bride, the tragic tale of Sigurd and Brynhild's doomed love, and the terrible drama of Sigurd's widow Gudrun and her children. Many of the poems predate the conversion of Scandinavia to Christianity, allowing us to glimpse the pagan beliefs of the North. Since the rediscovery of the Poetic Edda in the seventeenth century, its poetry has fascinated artists as diverse as Thomas Gray, Richard Wagner, and Jorge Luis Borges. This is the first complete translation to be published in Britain for fifty years, and it includes a scholarly introduction, notes, a genealogy of the gods and giants, and an index of names.
Part of a new series Legends from the Ancient North, The Elder Edda is one of the classic books that influenced JRR Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings 'So the company of men led a careless life, All was well with them: until One began To encompass evil, an enemy from hell. Grendel they called this cruel spirit...' J.R.R. Tolkien spent much of his life studying, translating and teaching the great epic stories of northern Europe, filled with heroes, dragons, trolls, dwarves and magic. He was hugely influential for his advocacy of Beowulf as a great work of literature and, even if he had never written The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, would be recognised today as a significant figure in the rediscovery of these extraordinary tales. Legends from the Ancient North brings together from Penguin Classics five of the key works behind Tolkien's fiction.They are startling, brutal, strange pieces of writing, with an elemental power brilliantly preserved in these translations.They plunge the reader into a world of treachery, quests, chivalry, trials of strength.They are the most ancient narratives that exist from northern Europe and bring us as near as we will ever get to the origins of the magical landscape of Middle-earth (Midgard) which Tolkien remade in the 20th century.
Dragons, Serpents, and Slayers in the Classical and Early Christian Worlds offers a comprehensive and easily accessible collection of dragon myths from Greek, Roman, and early Christian sources.
A new translation of Beowulf, by Alan Sullivan and Timothy Murphy, is enhanced by Sarah Anderson with commentary and notes that explain unfamiliar terms, assist with literary allusions, and clarify a wealth of cultural and historical references. Near at hand is a chart of family genealogies, a glossary of proper names, and maps of Anglo-Saxon England and Denmark.
Changing the way that students think about literary history, this book rips up the rule book and brings Old English into the 21st Century.
List of members in v. 3, 5.

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