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Eirik the Red and Other Icelandic Sagas
Oxford University Press [0199539154]

This volume contains the following sagas:

Eirik the Red [Eiríks Saga rauda]
Hen-Thorir [Hænsna-Þóris Saga]
The Vapnfjord Men [Vopnfirðinga Saga]
Hrafnkel the Priest of Frey [Hrafnkels Saga Freysgoða]
Gunnlaug Wormtongue [Gunnlaugs Saga Ormstungu]
King Hrolf and his Champions [Hrólfs Saga Kraka]*

as well as:

Thorstein Staff-Struck
Thidrandi whom the Goddesses Slew
Authun and the Bear


* Strictly speaking, King Hrolf and his Champions is a legendary saga, while the others in this collection are all sagas of Icelanders.


What the Normans gave to statecraft and war, their northern brothers gave to the blood feud and literature, and their greatest victories are on the vellums.

The remote and inhospitable landscape of Iceland made it a perfect breeding-ground for heroes. The first Norsemen to colonize it in 860 found that the fight for survival demanded high courage and tough self reliance; it also nurtured a stern sense of duty and an uncompromising view of destiny. These heroic ideals found expression in the Icelandic sagas, first written down in the thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries, which relate the lives and feuds of individuals and their families between 930 and 1030. They are the very heart-strand of the native literature of medieval Iceland; but they are also part of the heroic literature of the Germanic peoples, and rank alongside Beowulf, Maldon, and the story of the Nibelungs.

Translated with an introduction by Gwyn Jones. The eminent Norse scholar chose the nine sagas in this book for their excellence and variety. His lively and eloquent translations allow the modern reader to appreciate the bold sweep and fast pace of these stories of adventure. This edition also includes a map.