Nordic Literature & History

Want to learn more about the Viking age?  Check out the links below.

After angering Oðin, Svipdag is transformed into a dragon.

After angering Oðin, Svipdag is transformed into a dragon.

Icelandic saga Database

The Icelandic Saga Database is an online resource dedicated to the digital publication of the Sagas of the Icelanders —a large body of medieval literature which forms the foundation of the Icelandic literary tradition.   Most of the well-known sagas are listed here.

VIKINGS: The North Atlantic Saga

–from the Smithsonian, National Museum of Natural History.  An online exhibit and voyage of the Vikings discovery and short stay in North America.

Icelandic Online—a free online course in Modern Icelandic

Because the Icelandic island was somewhat isolated over the centuries it lacked the interaction with other countries cultures that often changes the language,  modern Icelandic has remained closest in nature to the medieval Old Norse.  This online free course is a great beginning to understanding the Icelandic language and culture.

Old Norse Online

from the Linguistics Research Center at University of Texas at Austin.  This site does not have the interaction of the Icelandic Online site, but it’s pretty wonderful to anyone interested in the language.  This site will provide you with a strong beginning in other ancient languages.

Skaldic Poetry

This site is academic and may be difficult to initially navigate.  If you can find a little patience, the search is worth it as you will benefit from the work of some of the best scholars in the business.  The purpose of Skaldic poetry is to praise the king or jarl, recounting their great deeds or characteristics.

Fornaldarsögur norðurlanda

The fornaldarsögur norðurlanda  (literally ‘ancient sagas of the northern lands’, but often referred to in English as ‘mythical-heroic’ or ‘legendary’ sagas) represent one of the major genres of mediaeval Icelandic saga narrative.

JORVIK Viking Centre

The world famous JORVIK Viking Centre is a ‘must-see’ for visitors of the city of York and is one of the most popular attractions in the UK outside London—their web-site is interesting, too.   Check out the Coppergate Dig page to learn about Vikings in Britain before the Norman invasion (1066).