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Home > Catalog > The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga
The Cambridge Introduction to the Old Norse-Icelandic Saga


  • 1 map
  • Page extent: 210 pages
  • Size: 228 x 152 mm
  • Weight: 0.46 kg

Library of Congress

  • Dewey number: 839/.6/09
  • Dewey version: 22
  • LC Classification: PT7181 .R67 2010
  • LC Subject headings:
    • Sagas--History and criticism

Library of Congress Record

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 (ISBN-13: 9780521514019)

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$103.00 (P)

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.


A preface on practical issues; Glossary of technical terms; 1. Medieval Iceland; 2. What is an Old Norse-Icelandic saga?; 3. The genesis of the Icelandic saga; 4. Saga chronology; 5. Saga subjects and settings; 6. Saga mode, style and point of view; 7. Saga structures; 8. The material record: how we know the sagas; 9. Changing understandings of the sagas; Guide to further reading; Index.

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