SCANDINAVIAN 160: Scandinavian Myth and Religion

MWF 10-11 , 3106 Etcheverry. Instructor: Jonas Wellendorf

Units: 4

L&S Breadth: Arts & Literature OR Philosophy & Values

Who were the Norse gods? Why did they have to die? And how do we know? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity (eleventh century), as illustrated in narrative and, to a lesser extent, archaeological materials. The approach will be primarily source-critical, with some use of comparative materials from other mythologies. By the end of the course, students should know the sources well, have an understanding of the major problems involved in this study, and be aware of the more important scholarly trends in the field. Three hours of lecture and discussion per week.


Edda by Snorri Sturluson, trans. Anthony Faulkes, ISBN-13: 978-0460876162

The Poetic Edda (second edition), trans. Carolyne Larrington, ISBN-13: 978-0199675340

Norse Mythology, by John Lindow, ISBN-13: 978-0195153828

A number of additional readings which will be available in a course reader

Prerequisites: None, although some background in folklore and mythology, religious studies, medieval literature and history, or Scandinavian culture is likely to prove helpful.