Iceland epics

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Iceland Epic
What are Epic About?
Answer 1: An epic is a long narrative poem that usually contains a hero and speaks of his amazing deeds and events occurring in his time. Some known examples are Beowulf and Paradise lost.

Answer 2: In literature an epic is a (usually lengthy) narrative in verse. In addition to the narrative there is also description and there is an important element ofvastness and heroism. The earliest epics were oral and were only written down later.
Famous examples of epics include The Odyssey, The Iliad and The Aeneid, also The Epic of Gilgamesh, and much later Beowulf.
It is often said that since about 1700 the epic has been 'replaced' by the novel as the main form of narrative.
The term epic is also used figuratively of some blockbuster films concernedwith conflict and heroism on a grandiose scale.

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The Eddas
The Eddas are the primary texts for the study of Northern mythology.
The Poetic Edda
Henry Adams Bellows, tr. [1936].
The Poetic Edda, also known as the Elder Edda. A complete version of thiskey text, scanned at sacred-texts. Highly readable with extensive, useful notes.

The Prose Edda
of Snorri Sturlson; Arthur Gilchrist Brodeur, tr. [1916].
The Prose Edda, also known as the Younger Edda.

Old Norse Poems
by Lee M. Hollander [1936]

The Sagas
The Sagas are historical legends, but often have supernatural or mythological elements. Besides being sophisticated and veryenjoyable narrative literature, they also contain illuminating details of life in old Iceland.
The Story of the Volsungs
with extracts from the Poetic Edda. by William Morris and Eirikr Magnusson [1888].

The Story of Grettir the Strong
translated by Eirikr Magnusson and William Morris [1869].

The Story of Egil Skallagrimsson (Egil's Saga)
Translated from the Icelandic by W.C. Green[1893]
Contributed by the

The Story of Burnt Njal
Translated by George Webbe Dasent [1861]

The Laxdaela Saga
Translated by Muriel Press [1899]

The Story of Gisli the Outlaw
by George Webbe Dasent [1866]

The Life and Death of Cormac the Skalda
Translated by W.G. Collingwood and J. Stefansson [1901]
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The Story of Viga-Glum
Translated by SirEdmund Head [1866]
Contributed by the

The Norse Discovery of America
by Arthur Middleton Reeves, North Ludlow Beamish, and Rasmus B. Anderson [1906]
All of the Sagas and documents relating to the Norse voyages to 'Vinland'.

Icelandic Sagas, Vol. 3: The Orkneyingers Saga
by George W. Dasent [1894]
Contributed by the

Modern Retellings
The Children of Odinby Padraic Colum, Illustrations by Willy Pogany [1920].
A retelling of the Eddas and the Volsung Saga for young adults.

Teutonic Myth and Legend
by Donald Mackenzie [1912]
The Eddas, Volsung Saga and other Northern Lore.

The Norse Creation Myth
The Poetic Eddas are the oral literature of Iceland, which were finally written down from 1000 to 1300 C.E. The Eddas are a primary sourcefor our knowledge of ancient Norse pagan beliefs. This translation of the Poetic Eddas by Henry Adams Bellows is highly readable.
The poems are great tragic literature, with vivid descriptions of the emotional states of the protagonists, Gods and heroes alike. Women play a prominent role in the Eddic age, and many of them are delineated as skilled warriors.
The impact of these sagas from asparsely inhabited rocky island in the middle of the Atlantic on world culture is wide-ranging. Wagners' operas are largely based on incidents from the Edda, via the Niebelungenlied. J.R.R. Tolkien also plundered the Eddas for atmosphere, plot material and the names of many characters in the Hobbit, and the Lord of the Rings. -- John Bruno Hare

The first world to exist was Muspell, a place...
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