A Handbook to Eddic Poetry

A Handbook to Eddic Poetry : Myths and Legends of Early Scandinavia

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This is the first comprehensive and accessible survey in English of Old Norse eddic poetry: a remarkable body of literature rooted in the Viking Age, which is a critical source for the study of early Scandinavian myths, poetics, culture and society. Dramatically recreating the voices of the legendary past, eddic poems distil moments of high emotion as human heroes and supernatural beings alike grapple with betrayal, loyalty, mortality and love. These poems relate the most famous deeds of gods such as Odinn and THorr with their adversaries the giants; they bring to life the often fraught interactions between kings, queens and heroes as well as their encounters with valkyries, elves, dragons and dwarfs. Written by leading international scholars, the chapters in this volume showcase the poetic riches of the eddic corpus, and reveal its relevance to the history of poetics, gender studies, pre-Christian religions, art history and archaeology.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 424 pages
  • 157 x 235 x 27mm | 740g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 12 Halftones, black and white
  • 1107135443
  • 9781107135444
  • 1,153,386

Table of contents

Introduction Carolyne Larrington; 1. The transmission and preservation of eddic poetry Margaret Clunies Ross; 2. Traditions of eddic scholarship Joseph Harris; 3. The editing of eddic poetry Judy Quinn; 4. The dating of eddic poetry Bernt O. Thorvaldsen; 5. Eddic performance and eddic audiences Terry Gunnell; 6. Eddic poetry and mythology John Lindow; 7. Eddic poetry and the religion of pre-Christian Scandinavia Jens Peter Schjodt; 8. Eddic poetry and heroic legend Carolyne Larrington; 9. Place names in eddic poetry Stefan Brink and John Lindow; 10. Eddic poetry and the imagery of stone monuments Lilla Kopar; 11. Eddic poetry and archaeology John Hines; 12. Eddic modes and genres Brittany Schorn; 13. Eddic metres R. D. Fulk; 14. Eddic style Brittany Schorn; 15. Kennings and other forms of figurative language in eddic poetry Judy Quinn; 16. Alliterative lexical collocations in eddic poetry Maria Elena Ruggerini; 17. The representation of gender in eddic poetry David Clark and Johanna Katrin Fridriksdottir; 18. The reception of eddic poetry Heather O'Donoghue.
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Review quote

'Once again, Larrington has stepped up to the plate, with her co-editors Judy Quinn and Brittany Schorn, to provide this very welcome compendium of scholarly commentary, not on the whole of the mythology, but on the medieval Icelandic poetry in which it is recorded - poetry of the kind that was used by Snorri as the basis for his first in the line of many prose retellings ... The volume as a whole will encourage many readers in a renewed engagement with these wonderful poems, preferably in the original language, and make them realize how much deeper and richer these 'sources' are than even the best modern retelling.' Judith Jesch, The Times Literary Supplement '... a skillfully edited book that will serve the intended purpose to present a wide range of contemporary eddic studies to researchers and students. It is interesting to read such diverse approaches to a single area of Old Norse studies, and it is fascinating to see proponents of oral theory juxtaposed with advocates of New Philology in a single book.' Lukas Roesli, Scandinavian Studies 'Calling into question previously established categorizations, including the binary classification system of Old Norse poems into either skaldic or Eddic, the book provides the opportunity to discuss poems that have rarely been thought of as Eddic alongside those that are standard exemplars.' J. Sundquist, Choice
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About Carolyne Larrington

Carolyne Larrington is Official Fellow and Tutor at St John's College, University of Oxford. Judy Quinn is Reader in Old Norse Literature in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge. Brittany Schorn is a Research Associate in the Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic at the University of Cambridge.
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