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Gods and Humans in Medieval Scandinavia
Retying the Bonds


Part of Cambridge Studies in Medieval Literature

  • Date Published: April 2018
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108424974

£ 75.00

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About the Authors
  • The coming of Christianity to Northern Europe resulted in profound cultural changes. In the course of a few generations, new answers were given to fundamental existential questions and older notions were invalidated. Jonas Wellendorf's study, the first monograph in English on this subject, explores the medieval Scandinavian reception and re-interpretation of pre-Christian Scandinavian religion. This original work draws on a range of primary sources ranging from Prose Edda and Saxo Grammaticus' History of the Danes to less well known literary works including the Saga of Barlaam and the Hauksbók manuscript (c.1300). By providing an in-depth analysis of often overlooked mythological materials, along with translations of all textual passages, Wellendorf delivers an accessible work that sheds new light on the ways in which the old gods were integrated into the Christian worldview of medieval Scandinavia.

    • Presents the first study in English to explore ways in which medieval Scandinavians received and re-interpreted pre-Christian religion
    • Contextualizes the canonical Prose Edda through a close reading of less well-known mythological literary works including the Saga of Barlaam, the Hauksbók manuscript (c.1300) and Saxo Grammaticus' History of the Danes
    • Offers full translation of Old Norse textual passages to provide an accessible study
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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2018
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108424974
    • length: 220 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Retying the bonds
    2. The hierarchy of disbeliefs in antipagan polemics
    3. Universalist aspirations in Hauksbók
    4. The Byzantine Gods of Saxo Grammaticus
    5. Gods and humans in the Prose Edda
    Epilogue: Óðinn and Odysseus.

  • Author

    Jonas Wellendorf, University of California, Berkeley
    Jonas Wellendorf is an assistant professor in the Department of Scandinavian at University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of multiple articles in journals and peer-reviewed anthologies and has also co-edited anthologies and an edition of an Old Norse rhetorical treatise.

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