Course Code
HIST 0825/ENAM 0825/LITS 0825
Course Type
Seminars
Subject Credit
Course Availability

Each seminar runs only subject to sufficient student demand. This seminar course explores early medieval heroic culture and beliefs from northern and western Europe, as presented in both older and later (West and North Germanic) literature and legend. It examines the historical background and related archaeological evidence as well as the ideological influences which shaped the texts. The seminar will involve extensive reading of primary sources in translation.

Possible seminar outline:

  1.  Introduction to Viking Literature and Culture
  2. The Gods -  The Mythological Poems of the Poetic Edda
  3. The Heroes - The Heroic Poems of the Poetic Edda; Völsunga saga (and its historical background)
  4. The Saga - Gísla saga
  5. Introduction to Old English Literature and Anglo-Saxon Culture
  6. Legendary Heroes: Waldere, Widsith, Finnsburgh; Beowulf (with sources and analogues) 
  7. Historical Heroes: The Battle of Maldon, Brunnanburgh and the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle
  8. Christian Heroes: The Dream of the Rood, Edmund, Judith
  9. The Hildebrandslied with Scandinavian/Old Irish/Middle English analogues
  10. The Nibelungenlied