Old Norse-Icelandic Studies

Heather O’Donoghue

in A Century of British Medieval Studies

Published by British Academy

Published in print November 2007 | ISBN: 9780197263952
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734083 | DOI:

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

Old Norse-Icelandic Studies

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  • Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)


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This chapter examines the works of British Old Norse-Icelandic scholars. It explains that from the start, British interest in Old Norse studies was closely bound up with contemporary Old Norse-Icelandic scholarship in Scandinavia and that the British connection was only established after James Johnstone's translation of extracts from the thirteenth-century historical compilation Heimskringla. This chapter also discusses the trend in Old Norse-Icelandic studies in Britain which involved the recognition of sagas as being informative not in their details of event and character, but in their portrayal of society and culture.

Keywords: Old Norse-Icelandic studies; British scholars; Scandinavia; James Johnstone; Heimskringla; sagas; society and culture

Chapter.  8653 words. 

Subjects: Medieval and Renaissance History (500 to 1500)

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