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Description - The Saga of the Volsungs by Jesse L. Byock

Based on Viking Age poems, The Saga of the Volsungs combines mythology, legend and sheer human drama. At its heart are the heroic deeds of Sigurd the dragon slayer who acquires runic knowledge from one of Odin's Valkyries. Yet it is also set in a very human world, incorporating oral memories of the fourth and fifth centuries, when Attila the Hun and other warriors fought on the northern frontiers of the Roman empire. An illuminating Introduction links the historical Huns, Burgundians and Goths with the events of this Icelandic saga, whose author claimed that Sigurd's name was 'known in all tongues north of the Greek Ocean, and so it must remain while the world endures'. With its ill-fated Rhinegold, the sword reforged and the magic ring of power, the saga resembles the Nibelungenlied. It has been a primary source for fantasy writers, such as William Morris and J. R. R. Tolkien, and for Richard Wagner's Ring cycle.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780140447385
ISBN-10: 0140447385
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 129mm x 9mm)
Pages: 160
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 27-May-1999
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Author Biography - Jesse L. Byock

The Icelandic author of THE SAGA OF THE VOLSUNGS is unknown and based his prose epic on strories found in earlier Norse poetry.Jesse Bycock is Professor of Icelandic and Old Norse Literature at the University of California and has published work on Medieval Iceland.

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