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Selected by Gwyn Jones - the eminent Celtic scholar - for their excellence and variety, these nine Icelandic sagas include "Hen-Thorir," "The Vapnfjord Men," "Thorstein Staff-Struck," "Hrafnkel the Priest of Prey," "Thidrandi whom the Goddesses Slew," "Authun and the Bear," "Gunnlaug Wormtongue," "King Hrolf and his Champions," and the title piece.
The Saga of the Greenlanders and Eirik the Red’s Saga contain the first ever descriptions of North America, a bountiful land of grapes and vines, discovered by Vikings five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Written down in the early thirteenth century, they recount the Icelandic settlement of Greenland by Eirik the Red, the chance discovery by seafaring adventurers of a mysterious new land, and Eirik’s son Leif the Lucky’s perilous voyages to explore it. Wrecked by storms, stricken by disease and plagued by navigational mishaps, some survived the North Atlantic to pass down this compelling tale of the first Europeans to talk with, trade with, and war with the Native Americans.
In this stimulating and reliable introduction to the Icelandic saga, Peter Hallberg correctly designates the genre as "Scandinavia's sole, collective original contribution to world literature." These prose narratives dating from the thirteenth century are characterized by a psychological realism which sets them apart from all other contemporary forms of European literature. Mr. Hallberg's emphasis is on the branch of saga literature which deals with the native heroes--with the settlement of Iceland by Norse chieftains and with the lives of these settlers and their descendants. After disposing of the controversial "free-prose" theory of the origin and transmission of these stories, the author treats such problems as style and character portrayal, dreams and destinies, values and ideals, humor and irony. Several of the major sagas are studied in some detail. The concluding discussion concerns the decline of saga writing and the role played by the Sagas in modern Scandinavian life and literature. Paul Schach's introduction and copious annotation furnish additional background material and bibliographical references to English translations of the individual sagas and to significant studies on the major problems of saga research. Although intended primarily for the layman, The Icelandic Saga is of value to the specialist since it judiciously evaluates and incorporates the revolutionary findings of the so-called "Icelandic school" of saga study.
"Close examination of the significant theme of other-worldly encounters in Norse myth and legend, including giantesses, monsters and the dead"--Provided by publisher.
Laughing Shall I Die explores the Viking fascination with scenes of heroic death. The literature of the Vikings is dominated by famous last stands, famous last words, death songs, and defiant gestures, all presented with grim humor. Much of this mindset is markedly alien to modern sentiment, and academics have accordingly shunned it. And yet, it is this same worldview that has always powered the popular public image of the Vikings—with their berserkers, valkyries, and cults of Valhalla and Ragnarok—and has also been surprisingly corroborated by archaeological discoveries such as the Ridgeway massacre site in Dorset. Was it this mindset that powered the sudden eruption of the Vikings onto the European scene? Was it a belief in heroic death that made them so lastingly successful against so many bellicose opponents? Weighing the evidence of sagas and poems against the accounts of the Vikings’ victims, Tom Shippey considers these questions as he plumbs the complexities of Viking psychology. Along the way, he recounts many of the great bravura scenes of Old Norse literature, including the Fall of the House of the Skjoldungs, the clash between the two great longships Ironbeard and Long Serpent, and the death of Thormod the skald. One of the most exciting books on Vikings for a generation, Laughing Shall I Die presents Vikings for what they were: not peaceful explorers and traders, but warriors, marauders, and storytellers.
Known for its outrageous humor, occasionally controversial content, and often silly spirit, Monty Python's Flying Circus poked fun at nearly everything. Indeed, many of the allusions and references in the program were routinely obscure, and therefore, not always understood or even noticed. This exhaustive reference identifies and explains the plethora of cultural, historical, and topical allusions of this landmark series. In this resource, virtually every allusion and reference that appeared in an episode is identified and explained. Organized chronologically by episode, each entry is listed alphabetically, indicates what sketch it appeared in, and is cross-referenced between episodes. Scholars and fans who already appreciate the silliness of the Pythons can also enjoy the acculturated know-it-all-ness of their heroes.
Fairy tales are alive with the supernatural - elves, dwarfs, fairies, giants, and trolls, as well as witches with magic wands and sorcerers who cast spells and enchantments. Children into Swans examines these motifs in a range of ancient stories. Moving from the rich period of nineteenth-century fairy tales back as far as the earliest folk literature of northern Europe, Jan Beveridge shows how long these supernatural features have been a part of storytelling, with ancient tales, many from Celtic and Norse mythology, that offer glimpses into a remote era and a pre-Christian sensibility. The earliest stories often show significant differences from what we might expect. Elves mingle with Norse gods, dwarfs belong to a proud clan of magician-smiths, and fairies are shape-shifters emerging from the hills and the sea mist. In story traditions with roots in a pre-Christian imagination, an invisible other world exists alongside our own. From the lost cultures of a thousand years ago, Children into Swans opens the door on some of the most extraordinary worlds ever portrayed in literature - worlds that are both starkly beautiful and full of horrors.
This book provides a critical survey of the gothic texts of late twentieth-century and contemporary Scottish women writers including Kate Atkinson, Ellen Galford, A.L. Kennedy, Ali Smith and Emma Tennant focusing on four themes: quests and other worlds, w
One of the most arresting stories in the history of exploration, these two Icelandic sagas tell of the discovery of America by Norsemen five centuries before Christopher Columbus. Together, the direct, forceful twelfth-century Graenlendinga Saga and the more polished and scholarly Eirik's Saga, written some hundred years later, recount how Eirik the Red founded an Icelandic colony in Greenland and how his son, Leif the Lucky, later sailed south to explore - and if possible exploit - the chance discovery by Bjarni Herjolfsson of an unknown land. In spare and vigorous prose they record Europe's first surprise glimpse of the eastern shores of the North American continent and the natives who inhabited them.
In the dying days of the eighth century, the Vikings erupted onto the international stage with brutal raids and slaughter. The medieval Norsemen may be best remembered as monk murderers and village pillagers, but this is far from the whole story. Throughout the Middle Ages, long-ships transported hairy northern voyagers far and wide, where they not only raided but also traded, explored and settled new lands, encountered unfamiliar races, and embarked on pilgrimages and crusades. The Norsemen travelled to all corners of the medieval world and beyond; north to the wastelands of arctic Scandinavia, south to the politically turbulent heartlands of medieval Christendom, west across the wild seas to Greenland and the fringes of the North American continent, and east down the Russian waterways trading silver, skins, and slaves. Beyond the Northlands explores this world through the stories that the Vikings told about themselves in their sagas. But the depiction of the Viking world in the Old Norse-Icelandic sagas goes far beyond historical facts. What emerges from these tales is a mixture of realism and fantasy, quasi-historical adventures and exotic wonder-tales that rocket far beyond the horizon of reality. On the crackling brown pages of saga manuscripts, trolls, dragons and outlandish tribes jostle for position with explorers, traders, and kings. To explore the sagas and the world that produced them, Eleanor Rosamund Barraclough now takes her own trip through the dramatic landscapes that they describe. Along the way, she illuminates the rich but often confusing saga accounts with a range of other evidence: archaeological finds, rune-stones, medieval world maps, encyclopaedic manuscripts, and texts from as far away as Byzantium and Baghdad. As her journey across the Old Norse world shows, by situating the sagas against the revealing background of this other evidence, we can begin at least to understand just how the world was experienced, remembered, and imagined by this unique culture from the outermost edge of Europe so many centuries ago.
Using artifacts as primary sources, this book enables students to comprehensively assess and analyze historic evidence in the context of the medieval period. • Provides a single-volume resource for using medieval artifacts to better understand the long-ago past • Supplies images of artifacts with detailed descriptions, explanations of significance, and a list of sources for more information, which help students learn how to effectively analyze primary sources • Presents a virtual window into many different aspects of medieval society and life, including particular activities or roles—such as farming, weaving, fashion, or being a mason or a knight • Includes sidebars within selected entries that explain key terms and concepts and supply excerpts from contemporary sources
The complex moral ambiguities of seduction and revenge make Les Liaisons dangereuses (1782) one of the most scandalous and controversial novels in European literature. The subject of major film and stage adaptations, the novel's prime movers, the Vicomte de Valmont and the Marquise de Merteuil, form an unholy alliance and turn seduction into a game - a game which they must win. This new translation gives Laclos a modern voice, and readers will be able a judge whether the novel is as `diabolical' and `infamous' as its critics have claimed, or whether it has much to tell us about the kind of world we ourselves live in. David Coward's introduction explodes myths about Laclos's own life and puts the book in its literary and cultural context. ABOUT THE SERIES: For over 100 years Oxford World's Classics has made available the widest range of literature from around the globe. Each affordable volume reflects Oxford's commitment to scholarship, providing the most accurate text plus a wealth of other valuable features, including expert introductions by leading authorities, helpful notes to clarify the text, up-to-date bibliographies for further study, and much more.
A collection of essays on Icelandic sagas from the middle ages, which concern the earliest period of Icelandic history. Includes references.
A Viking boatbuilder tells his daughter the story of Leif Ericson's voyage to and discovery of North America.

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