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Heimskringla, or the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway   By: (1179?-1241)

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In "Heimskringla, or the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway," the unknown author takes readers on a fascinating journey through the history of Norway's royal lineage. Spanning several centuries, this epic recounting of the kingdom's rulers offers a rich tapestry of political intrigue, heroic exploits, and cultural transformations.

The author's meticulous attention to detail and thorough research shine through every page of this historical chronicle. From the earliest kings to the final chapters, the storytelling remains consistently engaging, allowing readers to immerse themselves in the complex world of medieval Norway. The depth of knowledge displayed by the author is truly impressive, considering the book's lack of attribution.

One of the book's great strengths lies in its ability to humanize the kings. Rather than presenting them as mythical figures, the author brings them to life, portraying their flaws, virtues, triumphs, and tragedies in vivid detail. Through these rich characterizations, readers become invested in the fate of each ruler, experiencing their joys and sorrows as if they were witnessing history firsthand.

Moreover, "Heimskringla" serves as an invaluable primary source for those seeking a deeper understanding of Norse culture. The author delves into various aspects of society, shedding light on traditional customs, religious beliefs, and the Viking way of life. From descriptions of epic battles to portrayals of royal feasts, the book offers a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of ancient Norsemen, providing a crucial piece of the historical puzzle.

While the anonymous author's scholarly approach enhances the book's credibility, it may also pose a challenge for some readers. The text can occasionally become dense and laden with historical terminology, which might be overwhelming for those less familiar with the subject matter. However, this should not dissuade anyone from delving into this extraordinary saga; a little perseverance will reward readers with a rich and rewarding reading experience.

Ultimately, "Heimskringla, or the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway" stands as a testament to the enduring power of historical narratives. Its compelling storytelling, meticulous research, and invaluable insights into Norse culture make it an indispensable read for history enthusiasts, scholars, and anyone captivated by the grandeur and mystery of the medieval world. Uncovering the veil of anonymity surrounding the author only adds to the intrigue, ensuring that this book remains a timeless masterpiece in the genre of historical literature.

First Page:




By Snorri Sturlason

(c.1179 1241)

Originally written in Old Norse, app. 1225 A.D., by the poet and historian Snorri Sturlason.


The "Heimskringla" of Snorri Sturlason is a collection of sagas concerning the various rulers of Norway, from about A.D. 850 to the year A.D. 1177.

The Sagas covered in this work are the following:

1. Halfdan the Black Saga 2. Harald Harfager's Saga 3. Hakon the Good's Saga 4. Saga of King Harald Grafeld and of Earl Hakon Son of Sigurd 5. King Olaf Trygvason's Saga 6. Saga of Olaf Haraldson (St. Olaf) 7. Saga of Magnus the Good 8. Saga of Harald Hardrade 9. Saga of Olaf Kyrre 10. Magnus Barefoot's Saga 11. Saga of Sigurd the Crusader and His Brothers Eystein and Olaf 12. Saga of Magnus the Blind and of Harald Gille 13. Saga of Sigurd, Inge, and Eystein, the Sons of Harald 14. Saga of Hakon Herdebreid ("Hakon the Broad Shouldered") 15. Magnus Erlingson's Saga

While scholars and historians continue to debate the historical accuracy of Sturlason's work, the "Heimskringla" is still considered an important original source for information on the Viking Age, a period which Sturlason covers almost in its entirety.

PREFACE OF SNORRE STURLASON... Continue reading book >>

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