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The Saga of the Volsungs

The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer

Introduction and Translation by JESSE L. BYOCK
Copyright Date: 1990
Edition: 1
Pages: 160
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/j.ctt1pn9gh
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  • Book Info
    The Saga of the Volsungs
    Book Description:

    The Saga of the Volsungsis an Icelandic epic of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle and a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J. R. R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris. A trove of traditional lore, it tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and the mythic deeds of the dragonslayer, Sigurd the Volsung. Byock's comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of a narrative that reaches back to the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-95151-8
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-x)
  3. Introduction
    (pp. 1-30)

    The unknown Icelandic author who wroteThe Saga of the Volsungsin the thirteenth century based his prose epic on stories found in far older Norse poetry. His sources, which may have included a lost earlier prose saga, were rich in traditional lore.The Saga of the Volsungsrecounts runic knowledge, princely jealousies, betrayals, unrequited love, the vengeance of a barbarian queen, greedy schemes of Attila the Hun, and the mythic deeds of the dragon slayer, Sigurd the Volsung. It describes events from the ancient wars among the kings of the Burgundians, Huns, and Goths, treating some of the same...

  4. Note on the Translation
    (pp. 31-32)
  5. The Saga of the Volsungs
    (pp. 33-110)

    Here we begin by telling of a man who was named Sigi, and it was said that he was the son of Odin.¹ Another man, called Skadi, is introduced into the saga; he was powerful and imposing. Sigi, however, was the more important of the two and was of better stock, according to what was said in those days. Skadi owned a thrall called Bredi who should be mentioned in the account of these events. Bredi was well informed in the things he had to do. He was equal in skills and accomplishments to those who were thought more worthy,...

  6. Notes
    (pp. 111-122)
  7. Eddic Poems Used by the Saga Author
    (pp. 123-124)
  8. Glossary
    (pp. 125-145)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 146-149)