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Winter Academic Term 2003 Graduate Course Guide

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Courses in Scandinavian

This page was created at 8:40 AM on Thu, Feb 6, 2003.

Winter Academic Term, 2003 (January 6 - April 25)

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SCAND 442. The Icelandic Saga (in English Translation).

Scandinavian Courses in English

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Astrid Billes Beck (

Prerequisites: Junior standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The Icelandic Sagas are the mythic stories of the Nordic cultures. They began to be documented with the Poetic and Prose Eddas in Iceland after the Christianization of the cultures, and were written down by church scribes, but their sources are derived from pre-Christian mythic origins.

In this course, we will read some of the major sagas and myths, including the Njal's Saga, which comes from the 13th Century by an unknown author, but is based on historical events in Iceland 300 years earlier, and which describes the grim world in which justice means vengeance, and all men are either lucky or unlucky. We will continue with Erik the Red and other Icelandic Sagas. These are at the heart-strand of the native literature of medieval Iceland, part of the heroic literature of the Germanic peoples, including Thorstein the Staff-Struck; Hrafnkel, Priest of Frey; Thidrandi, whom the goddesses slew; Gunnlaug Wormtongue; King Hrolf and his champions. We will also read the Saga of the Volsungs, the early Norse epic of Sigurd, the Dragon Slayer. Background readings will also be assigned.

Grades will be based on critical discussion of the readings, class participation, essays, oral presentations, and a term paper. The language of the classroom will be English. No prerequisites.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Undergraduate Course Listings for SCAND.


This page was created at 8:40 AM on Thu, Feb 6, 2003.

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