Myths, Legends, and Heroes: Essays on Old Norse and Old English Literature

Myths, Legends, and Heroes: Essays on Old Norse and Old English Literature

Weight 0.00 lbs
Edited by Daniel Anlezark
Toronto Old Norse-Icelandic Series (TONIS)
University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division © 2011
World Rights
280 Pages
ISBN 9780802099471
Published Aug 2011
Online discount: 25%
 $69.00    $51.75

In Myths, Legends, and Heroes, editor Daniel Anzelark has brought together scholars of Old Norse-Icelandic and Old English literature to explore the translation and transmission of Norse myth, the use of literature in society and authorial self-reflection, the place of myth in the expression of family relationships, and recurrent motifs in Northern literature.

The essays in Myths, Legends, and Heroes include an examination of the theme of sibling rivalry, an analysis of Christ's unusual ride into hell as found in both Old Norse and Old English, a discussion of Beowulf's swimming prowess and an analysis of the poetry in Snorri Sturluson's Edda. A tribute to Durham University professor John McKinnell's distinguished contributions to the field, this volume offers new insights in light of linguistic and archaeological evidence and a broad range of study with regard to both chronology and methodology.

Daniel Anlezark is a senior lecturer in the Department of History at the University of Sydney.


PART ONE: Transforming Paganism

  1. The Norse gods in England and the Isle of Man by Judith Jesch (University of Nottingham)
  2. Elves and Exorcism: Runic and other lead amulets in medieval popular religion by (Rudolf Simek, University of Bonn)
  3. Images of Norse Cosmology by Margaret Clunies Ross (University of Sydney)

PART TWO: Using Poetry

  1. Meeting the Other: The Cases of Kumlbúa þáttr and Draumr Þorsteins Hallsonar by John Lindow (University of California, Berkeley)
  2. Risking one’s Head: Vafþrúðnismál and the Mythic Power of Poetry by Alison Finlay (Birkbeck College, London)
  3. Snorra Edda as Menippean Satire by Rory McTurk (University of Leeds)

PART THREE: Literary Histories

  1. Kings, Bishops and Laws: the Old Norse-Icelandic Version of 1 Maccabees by David Ashurst (University of Durham)
  2. Grendel’s Reign of Terror: From History to Vernacular Epic by Helen Damico (University of New Mexico)

PART FOUR: Motifs and Themes

  1. Sibling Drama: Laterality in the Heroic Poems of the Edda by Carolyne Larrington (St John’s College, Oxford)
  2. Burning Walnuts: An International Motif in the Kings’ Sagas by Joyce Hill (University of Leeds)
  3. A Just and Riding God: Christ’s Movement in The Descent into Hell by Maria Elena Ruggerini (Universita’ di Cagliari)
  4. All at Sea: Beowulf’s Marvellous Swimming by Daniel Anlezark (University of Sydney)


‘The essays are thought provoking, often quite fascinating, and entertainingly wide ranging… Daniel Anlezark has done a fine job of editing this volume, which is beautifully structured and presented.’

Heather O'Donoghue, Speculum vol 89:03:2014