The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030–1157)
Morkinskinna ("rotten parchment"), the first full-length chronicle of the kings of medieval Norway (1030-1157), forms the basis of the Icelandic chronicle tradition. Based ultimately on an original from ca. 1220, the single defective manuscript was written in Iceland ca. 1275. The present volume, the first translation of Morkinskinna in any language, makes this literary milestone available to a general readership, with introduction and commentary to clarify its position in the history of medieval Icelandic letters.
The book is designed to be used by readers with no knowledge of Icelandic. The translation is keyed to, and may be used in conjunction with, the existing diplomatic editions. Notes on the manuscript problems, as well as introductory and appended matter, augment the text. Above all, Kari Ellen Gade's edition of the skaldic stanzas provides a substantial initial step toward a future edition of the Icelandic text: Morkinskinna is the first large-scale repository of skaldic verse. Morkinskinna also includes many semi-independent tales that recount the adventures of individual Icelanders at the Norwegian court. These tales, with their often humorous or ironic inflections, shift the focus of the chronicle from the deeds of the kings to the Icelandic perception of Norwegian royalty.
Theodore M. Andersson
Theodore M. Andersson is Professor of Germanic Studies Emeritus at Indiana University. He is the author of several books, including The Sagas of Norwegian Kings (1130–1265), The Partisan Muse in the Early Icelandic Sagas (1200–1250), Early Epic Scenery: Homer, Virgil, and the Medieval Legacy and The Legend of Brynhild; translator of The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason; and cotranslator, with Kari Ellen Gade, of "Morkinskinna": The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030–1157), all from Cornell.
The Sagas of Norwegian Kings (1130–1265)
In The Sagas of Norwegian Kings (1130–1265), Theodore M. Andersson offers an orientation to the category of Icelandic sagas known as "kings' sagas," a genre of Old Norse-Icelandic prose literature.
The Partisan Muse in the Early Icelandic Sagas (1200–1250)
A study of the genesis of Old Icelandic prose literature from its roots in oral tradition to the compilation of key early sagas at the beginning of the thirteenth century.
The Growth of the Medieval Icelandic Sagas (1180–1280)
Andersson introduces readers to the development of the Icelandic sagas between 1180 and 1280, a crucial period that witnessed a gradual shift of emphasis from tales of adventure and personal distinction to the analysis of politics and history.
The Saga of Olaf Tryggvason
Oddr Snorrason, a Benedictine monk in northern Iceland in the late twelfth century, composed a landmark Latin biography of the legendary Norwegian king Olaf Tryggvason (died 1000 A.D.).