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71

(1869) [MARC] Author: Rasmus Rask
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in the latter country he was for some time Court skald at
Olaf’s, until at last he found his end in Iceland, where he
was slain in battle.

The Kormakssaga also belongs to this remarkable kind
of Sagas, in which the battle and love adventures of these
Minnesingers and gallant blades, which they experienced in
their romantic wanderings are told.

The Heimskringla (orbis terrarum) is one of the
principal works of Iceland. It is written by Snorre Sturlason, a
man to whom his country’s history and literature are much
indebted; and who earned for himself the title of the Northern
Herodotus. A scion of one of the old noble families, he was
born in the year 1178 at Hvamm. He lived long at the Courts
of Sweden and Norway, became an Icelandic lagman and was
murdered in his castle on the 22nd September 1241. He was
a man of great talents, and made himself famous as a poet,
lawgiver and historian.

Snorre collected 16 Sagas on his numerous voyages, the
first of which treats of the mythic times before Halfdan the
Black, followed by the histories of all Norwegian Kings down
to Magnus Erlingsson (1162—1184). To these are
added three continuations, first by Karl Jònsson Abbot of
Thingeyri (d. 1213) who wrote the minute history of King
Sverrer, followed by the histories of Hakon Sverrersson,
Guttorm Sigurðarson
and Ingi Bardarson, written by
an unknown author, and lastly by Sturla, the last Skald who
wrote the life of Hakon VI and a fragment of Magnus VII.

Snorre mentions that he has not only used the poems of
the Skalds, but the Sagas of Kings which he found written,
and which he collected in his travels. The completion of the
entire work may be placed towards the year 1230.

With this remarkable book, a masterpiece of history, only
inferior to the Edda itself, closes the history of the Sagas. It
is a mine of Icelandic history and mythology, interesting alike
for its swedish and norwegian Annals, giving at the same
time historical glances at Russia.

The history of the Swedish Kings has not been treated
with originality by the Icelanders; nor has Danish history been
faithfully represented after the 12th Century. The
Jomsvìkingasaga is the history of the renowned pirates who lived in
the Jomscastle, the terror of navigators and the coast
population, and Jarl Hakon’s taking and destruction of this Castle;

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