Resource List


LAST UPDATED: SATURDAY, 24TH OF SEPTEMBER, 2016.

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CONTENTS:

0. PRELUDE
I. INTRODUCTIONARY MATERIAL
II. RESOURCES FOR MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE
III. SAGAS (i.e LITERATURE and SOCIETY)
IV. SKALDS (i.e. POETRY, OLD NORSE, and OLD IRISH)
V. THINGS (i.e LAW)
VI. OTHER MEDIEVAL RESOURCES (i.e. LATIN)
VII. LIST OF DATABASES AND COLLECTIONS (BY SUBJECT AREA)
VIII. ACADEMIC ARTICLES (ALPHABETICALLY ORDERED)

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PRELUDE:

This list holds quite a bit of information. I currently have roughly 114+ individual resources listed (Not including the information presented on certain databases that I have linked to). If you are looking for something in particular, I recommend that you search the webpage for keywords (i.e. Ireland, Iceland, Njal’s Saga, etc.).

Whether your purpose for information is academic or personal, it is important to utilize clean, reliable material. This list aims to provide a detailed list of material, both primary and secondary, pertaining to both the Medieval Norse and Celtic realms of study. I will update this list as I discover new sources and based on the discussions I have with other scholars and the community. This list encourages participation from the community, to pool together resources for everyone to use and be confident in.

All of the sources listed on this list are presented in the Chicago Manual Style (Notation Format). Sources are also categorized by their subject (such as “Mythology,” “Law,” “Sagas,” etc.). However, some sources can overlap. Such sources will be placed in a “home” section, however, I will note the other subjects that such a source is useful for, when possible. Sources are also not listed in alphabetical order, although such is the academic tradition. I provide the sources, at times, based on convenience. For example, I will list a suitable introductory source before a source with more depth and scholarly tones.

This list will never be able to include every resource available. If you know of a resource that I have yet to discover or include, please send me an ask, or email me at fjorntheskald@gmail.com, and I will include it to this list. After all, this project requires interaction with the community in order to become more useful for all.

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I. INTRODUCTIONARY SOURCES:

It is always best to begin your exploration with a solid background. This is especially true even if your quest for knowledge is for personal endeavors. I definitely recommend reading at least one these sources before exploring more specific elements of either the Medieval Norse or Celtic worlds.

MEDIEVAL SCANDINAVIA, ICELAND, AND THE VIKING AGE:

[1]Steven T. Dunn, A Crash Course on the Viking Age. (Sagas, Skalds, and Things, ongoing project). – Online Resource (linklink). || I hate to promote myself, but, if you are already here on this blog, this is a great starting point. I am not the most qualified source on the Viking Age, but reading these lessons will give you a basis to work off of. All of the information presented in those lessons comes from a class experience, which was directed and taught by a professor with a Harvard Ph.D.

[2]John Haywood, The Penguin Historical Atlas of the Vikings. (Penguin Books, 1995). – Book Resource (link). || This is a great book for a simple, concise overview of the Viking world. It provides general information on numerous aspects of the Viking Age, such as mythology, spirituality, and raids abroad. It also includes a significant amount of maps to help visualize the period.

[3]Angus A. Somerville and R. Andrew McDonald ed., The Viking Age: A Reader (Second Edition). (University of Toronto Press, 2014). – Book Resource (link).|| This resource is ideal after one has achieved basic familiarity with the period. It is strictly a primary source collection, in English translations. You will find a significant amount of poetry, runestones, mythology, and saga excepts in this book. For such a reason, I could not possibly begin to stress the immense flexibility and usefulness of this resource. There is extra material in the second edition, so I do recommend the second over the first edition, if possible. It is a must-have for anyone interested, especially academically, in the Viking Age.

[4] Jesse L. Byock, Viking Age Iceland. (Penguin Books, 2001). – Book Resource (link) || This book is not one of his academic press publications, so it is directed towards a more general audience. If you are interested specifically in Iceland, this is a must have. However, a responsible study of the Viking world cannot be complete without knowing of Iceland’s story.

[5] Steven T. Dunn, A Concise History of Medieval Iceland. (Sagas, Skalds, and Things, ongoing project). – Online Resource (linklink) || Again, I dislike self-advertising, but this is a great place to start. This project provides information in condensed forms that are easy to read without being overwhelmed. I use Byock’s book above, as well as a few other sources.

[6] Gunnar Karlsson, The History of Iceland. (University of Minnesota Press, 2000). – Book Resource (link). || For those of you who may wish to have a more extended understanding of Icelandic history, this book is wonderful. It covers the Viking Age, but also takes you beyond the period and up until the late modern period.

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MEDIEVAL IRELAND:

I soon plan to begin a Concise History of Medieval Ireland project. Once I start this, it may be a suitable starting place. It will utilize a lecture on Celtic History as well as three different books (listed below). I also will likely add other Celtic areas in the future, such as Scotland and Wales. For now, however, the focus will be on Ireland.

[1] Edel Bhreathnach, Ireland in the Medieval World AD 400-1000: Landscape, Kinship, and Religion. (Four Courts Press, 2014). – Book Resource (link). || I include this resource first because it specifically concerns itself with the medieval period. I have yet to read this myself, but I have it in my personal library.

[2] T. W. Moody, F. X. Martin, Dermot Keogh, and Patrick Kiely, The Course of Irish History (Fifth Edition). (Roberts Rineheart, 2012). – Book Resource (link). || A more cohesive look into the general course of Irish history, including the medieval period. This book is also well organized, providing chapters on specific periods or concepts and written by various scholars.

[3] Richard Killeen, A Brief History of Ireland. (Running Press, 2012). – Book Resource (link). || This book is fair. It covers more than just the medieval period, but in a concise manner that would be suitable for someone more casually concerned with Ireland.

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II. RESOURCES FOR MYTHOLOGY AND FOLKLORE:

It seems to be that the natural order of things, in general, tends to be a heavy interest in mythology. This list will not provide sources that do not display ample credibility. Thus, my focus for the provided resources lies within books and generally few online sources. I cannot stress enough that, if looking to learn about mythology, you begin with primary sources. For this reason, I will make distinctions indicating whether a source is primary or secondary. KEYWORDS: Myths, Mythology, Legends, Lore, Folklore, Belief, Ritual, Paganism, Spiritual.

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NORSE MYTHOLOGY:

PRIMARY SOURCES:

The following sources are those that deal solely with mythology, for the most part. There are many sources that have aspects of mythology in them, notable are the Fornaldasögur (Heroic Sagas). I am not listen them here, but I will make an effort to include the key words “Norse Mythology” with each source that has potential for such information.

[1] Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, Translated by Jesse L. Byock. (Penguin Classics, 2005). – Book Resource (link). || You might have heard that Byock’s version is not a complete version of the Prose Edda, and this would be correct. However, he only omitted the tedious fare of Skaldic diction, notable that of the Hàttatal. Also, many will argue against this source since Snorri was a Christian. This is nonsense. Yes, he was a Christian, but that does not dismiss this source entirely. Nearly every ounce of written material we have on Norse mythology was a Christian author. It simply cannot be ignored. That being said, this is still an ideal starting point for Norse Mythology. Byock divides the book into sections for easy reference. It is very use-friendly, especially to those who have no previous experience with Norse Mythology.

[2] Snorri Sturluson, The Prose Edda, Translated by Anthony Faulkes. (Everyman’s Library, 1995). – Book Resource (link). || This version is less user-friendly to the beginner, but provides the entire Prose Edda. This source would be helpful for those interested in Skaldic verse and poetic diction.

[3] Andry Orchard trans., The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore. (Penguin Classics, 2011). – Book Resource (link). || This translation is a good one to begin with, because the language is a bit more normalized for an English speaker. It also a newer translation.

[4] Lee M. Hollander trans., The Poetic Edda. (University of Texas Press, 1986). – Book Resource (link). || If you want an older, more artistic translation, this is the version to have. He retains the poetic sense of rhyme and rhythm. He provides extensive footnotes as well.

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SECONDARY SOURCES:

Secondary sources on Norse Mythology are tricky, to say the least. Many are not true to the primary material, and many more are over enthusiastic. That being said, I recommend that you tread with caution. Check into the author before picking up any book of Norse Mythology. The same will go for Celtic Mythology.

[1] John Lindow, Norse Mythology: A Guide to Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs. (Oxford University Press, 2002). – Book Resource (link). || He is a Professor Emeritus of UC: Berkeley. He focuses in folklore and mythology, so I am confident that his book is worth a read.

[2] H. R. Elis Davidson, Gods and Myths of Northern Europe. (Penguin Books, 1965). – Book Resource (link). || This book is old, but it is one of the few that I trust enough to place on this List. That, of course, does not mean there are no other good ones, just none that I am familiar with as of yet. Do not read this book until you at least have a basic grasp on Norse Mythology (at least The Prose Edda).

[3] Dr. Stephen A. Mitchell’s Academia.edu (link) || Dr. Mitchell is Harvard’s Old Norse and Folklore professor. His Academia.edu features some selections of his work, without needing access to university databases. He does a lot of work in folklore, particularity for Sweden. He also dives into memory studies, which can relate to the way in which mythology was remembered. This is also relevant to Sagas Studies.

[4] Dr. Timothy R. Tangherlini’s Publications (link) || Dr. Tangherlini is a professor of Old Norse, folklore, literature, and culture at UCLA’s Scandinavian Section. His website conveniently offers links to scans of his publications for easy access. There is plenty of well-suited material to be found here.

[5] Daniel McCoy, Norse Mythology for Smart People. (http://norse-mythology.org). – Website Resource (link). || I am generally reluctant to use any website that is not .edu, but this one is not too bad. I have used this site before to get my deeper studies started, because he does used some citations and refers to primary source material. Most importantly, he provides those in notations for reference.

Because I am no expert on secondary sources pertaining to mythology, I am going to provide links to a few other lists that are out there. There is not reason for me to pretend I am all-knowing in these matters, so I shall hand them off to those who know better than I do. If there is any doubt, just remember to look into the author of each book or site you use.

[6] Fuck Yeah Norse Mythology’s Resource List (link) || This blog has been around much longer than my blog has. They have a magazine and many, many followers. I would say their sources are worth checking into.

[7] Hedendom’s Resource List (link) || Yet another blog that is much more in tune with mythological material than I am. I have some faith that the sources listed here are worth looking into.

[8] Thorraborrin’s Resource List (link) || Thorraborinn is well versed in Old Norse and mythology. You can tell this just based off of his tone and writing alone. His list is definitely one to trust.

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IRISH MYTHOLOGY (FROM THE MYTHOLOGICAL CYLCE OF MEDIEVAL IRISH LITERATURE):

I apologize in advance for the lack of resources currently in this section. I am currently working at expanding this section, once I am more familiar with the realm of Norse Mythology. If you have sources you would like to see added, send me an ask with the information. HOWEVER, you may find that there is quite a bit of mythological information under the SAGAS section, and the IRISH SAGAS sub-section.

PRIMARY SOURCES:

[1] Lebor Gabála Érenn (Celtic Literature Collective) – Online Resource (link). || Much like the Prose Edda for Norse Mythology, this source must be read with care. It is very propagandic and mixed strongly with a Christian world-view. Still, it is an interesting start on certain elements of Irish mythology.

[2] Tochmarc Etain (Celtic Literature Collective) – Online Resource (link). || This story can be found in other places, but it is available for free on the Celtic Literature Collective.

[3] Cath Maige Tuired (CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts) – Online Resource (link). || Another piece of literature pertaining to the Irish mythological cycle.

I would include more, but it would be redundant to do so. The following section, SAGAS, will contain links to databases that hold much more material. The three above are from those databases, but I put them up these because they are among the most renown. You may refer, then, to the IRISH SAGAS sub-section below to find more information.

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III. SAGAS:

This section contains Sagas, both Icelandic and Irish. However, as the amount of material varies greatly, this section also contain the general section of literature. This can include mythological literature as well as heroic literature. KEYWORDS: Society, Law, Dispute, Feud, Culture, Memory, Women, Gender, Heroes, Kings, Honor.

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ICELANDIC AND NORSE SAGAS:

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ÍSLENDINGASÖGUR (ICELANDIC FAMILY SAGAS):

These sagas refer to the families that settled and lived in Iceland during and after the Viking Age. They provide tremendous insight into society and culture, when read with care. I will generally list them as they are listed in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, which is to say that they will be ordered based on their relative subjects (outlaws, poets, supernatural, feuds, etc.). Due to the massive amount of sagas there are in this category, I will not be providing detailed descriptions. Sagas that only appear in The Complete Sagas of Icelanders will be followed by”(CSI Only).“ Here is that citation:

Viðar Hreinsson gen. ed., The Complete Sagas of Icelanders, Volumes I-V. (Leifur Eiríksson Publishing, 1997) – Book Resource (link).

Also, a handful appear in Penguin’s Sagas of the Icelanders. Such sagas will have a link to this book (listed as “PSI”) as well as an independent book, if they have one. Here is the citation:

Jane Smiley, Sagas of the Icelanders (World of the Sagas). (Penguin, 2005). – Book Resource (link).

I shall now list them accordingly, providing links to book and online resources when available. Tales, which are generally shorter than sagas, will be listed in italics. In technicality, there are only 40 family sagas. However, I include 49 additional tales, in accordance with The Complete Sagas of Icelanders edition and collection.

NOTES:

All resource links are to English translations, for I imagine that is what most people will be looking for when referring to this list. These will also only be from reliable publishers and presses, such as Penguin and the Oxford Press. There are Icelandic versions, as well as manuscript scanned versions, available for various sagas, but I will include these in a later section.

The estimated date for when each saga was written (dates for tales are not currently provided) is also provided. This information comes from the CSI. Some are written during the time period listed, while other are non-original (later copies) versions from that period.

All of the sagas listed are in the CSI, so there is no need to provide a link (it has already been provided above).

***Reminder***

CSI Only = Only available in the Complete Edition. 

PSI = Penguin’s Sagas of the Icelanders Collection.

WPS = Penguin’s Warrior-Poet Sagas Collection. 

CST = Penguin’s Comic Sagas and Tales Collection.

ISD = Icelandic Saga Database. 

VSWeb = Viking Society Web Publications.

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EPICS:

[1] Njal’s Saga (Brennu-Njáls saga) – Written Late 13th C. || Book Resource (link), Online Resource (ISD).

[2] The Saga of the People of Laxardal (Laxdæla saga) – Written Mid-13th C. || Book Resources (linkPSI), Online Resource (ISD).

[3] Bolli Bollason’s Tale (Bolla þáttur) – Book Resources (linkPSI).

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VINLAND AND GREENLAND:

[4] Eirik the Red’s Saga (Eiríks saga rauða) – Written Early 13th C. || Book Resources (linklinkPSI), Online Resource (ISD).

[5] The Saga of the Greenlanders (Grænlendinga saga)– Written Early 13th C. || Book Resources (linkPSI), Online Resource (link) -not a complete version.

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WARRIOR POETS:

[6] Egil’s Saga (Egils saga Skallagrímssonar) – Early 13th C. Version || Book Resources (linkPSI), Online Resource (ISD).

[7] Kormak’s Saga (Kormáks saga) – Written Early 13th C. || Book Resource (WPS), Online Resource (ISD).

[8] The Saga of Hallfred the Troublesome Poet (Hallfreðar saga vandræðaskálds) – Written Early 13th C. || Book Resource (WPS).

[9] The Saga of Bjorn, Champion of the Hitardal People (Bjarnar saga Hítdælakappa) – Written Late 13th C. || Book Resource (WPS).

[10] The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue (Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu) – Written Late 13th C. || Book Resources (linkWPSPSI), Online Resources (VSWebISD).

[11] Killer-Glum’s Saga (

[12] The Tale of Ogmund Bash (

[13] The Tale of Thorvald Tasaldi (

[14] The Saga of the Sword Brothers (

[15] Thormod’s Tale (

[16] The Tale of Thorarin the Overbearing (

[17] Viglund’s Saga (

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TALES OF POETS:

[18] The Tale of Arnor, the Poet of Earls (Arnórs þáttur jarlaskálds)– Book Resource (CSI Only).

[19] Einar Skulason’s Tale (Einars þáttur Skúlasonar) – Book Resource (CSI Only).

[20] The Tale of Mani the Poet (Mána þáttur skálds) – Book Resource (CSI Only).

[21] The Tale of Ottar the Black (Óttars þáttur  svarta) – Book Resource (CSI Only).

[22] The Tale of Sarcastic Halli (Sneglu-Halla þáttur) – Book Resources (PSICST).

[23] Stuf’s Tale (Stúfs þáttur hinn skemmri) – Book Resource (CSI Only).

[24] The Tale of Thorarin Short-Cloak (Þórarins þáttur stuttfeldar) – Book Resource (CSI Only).

[25] The Tale of Thorleif, the Earl’s Poet (Þorleifs þáttur jarlsskálds) – Book Resource (CST).

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TALES OF THE SUPERNATURAL:

[26] The Tale of the Cairn-Dweller (

[27] The Tale of the Mountain-Dweller (

[28] Star-Oddi’s Dream (

[29] The Tale of Thidrandi and Thorhall (

[30] The Tale of Thorhall Knapp (

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OUTLAWS AND NATURE SPIRITS:

[31] Gisli Surgeon’s Saga (

[32] The Saga of Greeter the Strong (

[33] The Saga of Hord and the People of Holm (

[34] Bard’s Saga (

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CHAMPIONS, ADVENTURES, AND ROGUES:

[35] The Saga of Finnbogi the Mighty (

[36] The Saga of the People of Floi (

[37] The Saga of the People of Kjalarnes ( 

[38] Jokul Buason’s Tale (

[39] Gold-Thorir’s Saga (

[40] The Saga of Thord Menace (

[41] The Saga of Ref the Sly (

[42] The Saga of Gunnar, the Fool of Keldugnup (

[43] Gisl Illugason’s Tale (

[44] The Tale of Gold-Asa’s Thord (

[45] Hrafn Gudrunarson’s Tale (

[46] Orm Storolfsson’s Tale (

[47] Thorgrim Hallason’s Tale (

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WEALTH AND POWER:

[48] The Saga of the People of Eyri (

[49] The Tale of Halldor Snorrason I (

[50] The Tale of Halldor Snorrason II (

[51] Olkofri’s Saga (

[52] Hen-Thorir’s Saga (

[53] The Saga of Hrafnkel Frey’s Godi (

[54] The Saga of the Confederates (

[55] Odd Ofeigsson’s Tale (

[56] The Saga of Havard of Isafjord (

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REGIONAL FEUDS:

[57] The Saga of the People of Vatnsdal (

[58] The Saga of the Slayings on the Heath (

[59] Valla-Ljot’s Saga (

[60] The Saga of the People of Svarfadardal (

[61] The Saga of the People of Ljosavatn (

[62] The Saga of the People of Rekjadal and of Killer-Skuta (

[63] The Saga of Thorstein the White (

[64] The Saga of the People of Vopnafjord (

[65] The Tale of Thorstein Staff-Struck (

[66] The Tale of Thorstein Bull’s-Leg (

[67] The Saga of Droplaug’s Sons (

[68] The Saga of the People of Fljotsdal (

[69] The Tale of Gunnar, the Slayer of Thidrandi (

[70] Brandkrossi’s Tale (

[71] Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson’s Saga (

[72] Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson’s Tale (

[73] Thorstein Sidu-Hallsson’s Dream (

[74] Egil Sidu-Hallsson’s Tale (

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RELIGION AND CONFLICT IN ICELAND AND GREENLAND:

[75] The Tale of Hromund the Lame (

[76] The Tale of Svadi and Arnor Crone’s-Nose (

[77] The Tale of Thorvald the Far-Travelled (

[78] The Tale of Thorstein Tent-Pitcher (

[79] The Tale of the Greenlanders (

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ANECDOTES:

[80] The Tale of Audun from the West Fjords (

[81] The Tale of Brand the Generous (

[82] Hreidar’s Tale (

[83] The Tale of the Story-Wise Icelander (

[84] Ivar Ingimundarson’s Tale (

[85] Thorarin Nefjolfsson’s Tale (

[86] The Tale of Thorstein from the East Fjords (

[87] The Tale of Thorstein the Curious (

[88] The Tale of Thorstein Shiver (

[89] The Tale of Thorvald Crow’s-Beak (

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FORNALDARSÖGUR (LEGENDARY SAGAS):

These sagas are more useful in terms of mythology than the family sagas, although one should not rule out the family sagas entirely. Even these sagas are not perfect representations of mythological ideas, for even they are products of times much later than they claim to represent.

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