SCANDINAVIAN 160: Scandinavian Myth and Religion

MWF 1-2 , Barrows 60. Instructor: Jonas Wellendorf

Units: 4

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

Who were the Norse gods? How do we know? How and why did they meet their end? This course presents a survey of Scandinavian myth and religion from prehistory through the conversion to Christianity in the eleventh century, as illustrated in textual and, to a lesser extent, archaeological materials. The approach will be primarily source-critical, with some use of comparative materials. By the end of the course, students should know the sources well, have an understanding of the major problems involved in the study of Scandinavian myth and religion, 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 (1987), ISBN: 9780460876162

The Poetic Edda, trans. Carolyne Larrington (2014), 2nd ed., ISBN: 9780199675340

Abram, Christopher (2011): Myths of the Pagan North: The Gods of the Norsemen. ISBN: 9781847252470

Additional readings of primary and secondary literature will be made available through bCourses.


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