SCANDINAVIAN R5B, Section 3: Reading and Composition: Interpreting Old Norse Literature and Culture: Myths, Heroes, and Sagas

TT 3:30-5 , 279 Dwinelle. Instructor: Carl Olsen

Units: 4

All Reading & Composition courses must be taken for a letter grade in order to fulfill this requirement for the Bachelor’s Degree. This course satisfies the second half or the “B” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement.

In this course we will read, discuss and write about various Old Norse texts in light of their socio-cultural context. Special attention will be given to understanding the relationships between genres, for example, understanding the sagas in light of the myths, and vice versa. Students will choose a topic to focus on throughout the semester, and will write, in addition to several minor assignments, a Critical paper, a Research paper and a Final paper on that topic.


Edda, trans. Anthony Faulkes
Poetic Edda, trans. Carolyne Larrington
The saga of the people of Laxardal, trans. Keneva Kunz
Egil’s Saga, trans. Bernard Scudder
The Saga of Grettir the Strong, trans. Bernard Scudder
Course Reader

Prerequisites: Successful completion of the first half or “A” portion of the Reading and Composition requirement. Students may not enroll nor attend R1B/R5B courses without completing this prerequisite.