Books Should Be Free is now
Loyal Books
Free Public Domain Audiobooks & eBook Downloads
Search by: Title, Author or Keyword

The Danish History, Books I-IX   By:

Book cover

First Page:

THE DANISH HISTORY,

BOOKS I IX

by

Saxo Grammaticus

("Saxo the Learned") fl. Late 12th Early 13th Century A.D.

PREPARER'S NOTE:

Originally written in Latin in the early years of the 13th Century A.D. by the Danish historian Saxo, of whom little is known except his name.

The text of this edition is based on that published as "The Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus", translated by Oliver Elton (Norroena Society, New York, 1905). This edition is in the PUBLIC DOMAIN in the United States.

This electronic edition was edited, proofed, and prepared by Douglas B. Killings.

The preparer would like to thank Mr. James W. Marchand and Mr. Jessie D. Hurlbut for their invaluable assistance in the production of this electronic text. Thank you. I am indebted to you both.

Although Saxo wrote 16 books of his "Danish History", only the first nine were ever translated by Mr. Oliver Elton; it is these nine books that are here included. As far as the preparer knows, there is (unfortunately) no public domain English translation of Books X XVI. Those interested in the latter books should search for the translation mentioned below.

SELECTED BIBLIOGRAPHY:

ORIGINAL TEXT

Olrik, J and Raeder (Ed.): "Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum" (Copenhagen, 1931).

Dansk Nationallitteraert Arkiv: "Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum" (DNA, Copenhagen, 1996). Web based Latin edition of Saxo, substantiallly based on the above edition; currently at the

OTHER TRANSLATIONS

Fisher, Peter (Trans.) and Hilda Ellis Davidson (Ed.): "Saxo Grammaticus: History of the Danes" (Brewer, Cambridge, 1979).

RECOMMENDED READING

Jones, Gwyn: "History of the Vikings" (Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1968, 1973, 1984).

Sturlson, Snorri: "The Heimskringla" (Translation: Samual Laing, London, 1844; released as Online Medieval and Classical Library E text 15, 1996). Web version at the following URL: http://sunsite.berkeley.edu/OMACL/Heimskringla/

INTRODUCTION.

SAXO'S POSITION.

Saxo Grammaticus, or "The Lettered", one of the notable historians of the Middle Ages, may fairly be called not only the earliest chronicler of Denmark, but her earliest writer. In the latter half of the twelfth century, when Iceland was in the flush of literary production, Denmark lingered behind. No literature in her vernacular, save a few Runic inscriptions, has survived. Monkish annals, devotional works, and lives were written in Latin; but the chronicle of Roskild, the necrology of Lund, the register of gifts to the cloister of Sora, are not literature. Neither are the half mythological genealogies of kings; and besides, the mass of these, though doubtless based on older verses that are lost, are not proved to be, as they stand, prior to Saxo. One man only, Saxo's elder contemporary, Sueno Aggonis, or Sweyn (Svend) Aageson, who wrote about 1185, shares or anticipates the credit of attempting a connected record. His brief draft of annals is written in rough mediocre Latin. It names but a few of the kings recorded by Saxo, and tells little that Saxo does not. Yet there is a certain link between the two writers. Sweyn speaks of Saxo with respect; he not obscurely leaves him the task of filling up his omissions. Both writers, servants of the brilliant Bishop Absalon, and probably set by him upon their task, proceed, like Geoffrey of Monmouth, by gathering and editing mythical matter. This they more or less embroider, and arrive in due course insensibly at actual history. Both, again, thread their stories upon a genealogy of kings in part legendary. Both write at the spur of patriotism, both to let Denmark linger in the race for light and learning, and desirous to save her glories, as other nations have saved theirs, by a record. But while Sweyn only made a skeleton chronicle, Saxo leaves a memorial in which historian and philologist find their account. His seven later books are the chief Danish authority for the times which they relate; his first nine, here translated, are a treasure of myth and folk lore... Continue reading book >>




eBook Downloads
ePUB eBook
• iBooks for iPhone and iPad
• Nook
• Sony Reader
Kindle eBook
• Mobi file format for Kindle
Read eBook
• Load eBook in browser
Text File eBook
• Computers
• Windows
• Mac

Review this book



Popular Genres
More Genres
Languages
Paid Books