by Snorre Sturlason Ed. Erling Monsen, Tr. A H Smith
Snorre (Snorri) Sturluson or Sturleson, 1178–1241, was an Icelandic chieftain, historian, poet, critic, saga teller, and the leading figure in medieval Norse literature. By combining traditional legend with historical information, his great epic, Heimskringla, recounts the history of Norway, and chronicles the reigns of 16 high kings descended from the warrior-wizard god Odin.
Beginning with the dim prehistory of mythical gods and their descendants, this classic recounts the history from legendary times to the twelfth century, 1177 specifically, and through the 15-year reign of Olaf Haraldsson, who became Norway’s patron saint. Once found in most Norwegian and Icelandic homes and schools, Heimskringla influenced the thinking and literary style of Scandinavia over several centires and is still regarded as a national treasure. According to the literary journal, Modern Philolog, “Among the many contributions to world literature that ancient Iceland has given us, Heimskringla stands out as one of the truly monumental works. Among medieval European histories in the vernacular it has no equal.” Based on early histories and oral tradition, this 832-page medieval account has been supplemented with over 130 illustrations and 5 maps.