Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer

Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer


Translated by Jesse L. Byock

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  • Publisher: University of California Press
  • Format: Hardback | 145 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 222mm x 19mm | 68g
  • Publication date: 1 April 1990
  • Publication City/Country: Berkerley
  • ISBN 10: 0520066839
  • ISBN 13: 9780520066830
  • Illustrations note: maps

Product description

"The Saga of the Volsungs" is an Icelandic prose epic whose anonymous thirteenth-century author based his story on the legends of Old Scandinavian folk culture. A trove of traditional lore, it tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and the mythic deeds of the dragonslayer, Sigurd the Volsung. "The Saga" is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J. R. R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. Byock's comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of a narrative that reaches back to the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed.

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Author information

Jesse L. Byock teaches Old Norse and medieval Scandinavian subjects at the University of California, Los Angeles and is the author of "Feud in the Icelandic Saga" (1982).