The Prose Edda

Penguin UK
20
Free sample

The Prose Edda is the most renowned of all works of Scandinavian literature and our most extensive source for Norse mythology. Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, it tells ancient stories of the Norse creation epic and recounts the battles that follow as gods, giants, dwarves and elves struggle for survival. It also preserves the oral memory of heroes, warrior kings and queens. In clear prose interspersed with powerful verse, the Edda provides unparalleled insight into the gods' tragic realization that the future holds one final cataclysmic battle, Ragnarok, when the world will be destroyed. These tales from the pagan era have proved to be among the most influential of all myths and legends, inspiring modern works as diverse as Wagner's Ring Cycle and Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.
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About the author

Snorri Sturlson (1179-1241) was an Icelandic descendant of the poet and hero from Egil's Saga, Egill Skallgrímsson. He was the best-known writer of the saga, author of the PROSE EDDA, which was written as a textbook for young poets who wished to praise kings, and HEIMSKRINGLA, a history of the kings of Norway, the most important prose collection in Old Norse literature.


Jesse Bycock is Professor of Icelandic and Old Norse Literature at the University of California and has published widely on Medieval Iceland. For Penguin, he is the author of Viking Age Iceland (2001).

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4.3
20 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Penguin UK
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Published on
Jul 28, 2005
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Pages
224
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ISBN
9780141912745
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology
Literary Criticism / European / Scandinavian
Literary Criticism / Medieval
Religion / Ancient
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Norse Mythology explores the magical myths and legends of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and Viking-Age Greenland and outlines the way the prehistoric tales and beliefs from these regions that have remained embedded in the imagination of the world. The book begins with an Introduction that helps put Scandinavian mythology in place in history, followed by a chapter that explains the meaning of mythic time, and a third section that presents in-depth explanations of each mythological term. These fascinating entries identify particular deities and giants, as well as the places where they dwell and the varied and wily means by which they forge their existence and battle one another. We meet Thor, one of the most powerful gods, who specializes in killing giants using a hammer made for him by dwarfs, not to mention myriad trolls, ogres, humans and strange animals. We learn of the ongoing struggle between the gods, who create the cosmos, and the jötnar, or giants, who aim to destroy it. In the enchanted world where this mythology takes place, we encounter turbulent rivers, majestic mountains, dense forests, storms, fierce winters, eagles, ravens, salmon and snakes in a landscape closely resembling Scandinavia. Beings travel on ships and on horseback; they eat slaughtered meat and drink mead. Spanning from the inception of the universe and the birth of human beings to the universe's destruction and the mythic future, these sparkling tales of creation and destruction, death and rebirth, gods and heroes will entertain readers and offer insight into the relationship between Scandinavian myth, history, and culture.
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