Read Heimskringla: The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway by Snorri Sturluson Online


Heimskringla is the best known of the old Norse kings' sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1179 - 1242) ca. 1230. The name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts (kringla heimsins - the circle of the world).Heimskringla is a collection of tales about tHeimskringla is the best known of the old Norse kings' sagas. It was written in Old Norse in Iceland by the poet and historian Snorri Sturluson (1179 - 1242) ca. 1230. The name Heimskringla was first used in the 17th century, derived from the first two words of one of the manuscripts (kringla heimsins - the circle of the world).Heimskringla is a collection of tales about the Norwegian kings, beginning with the legendary Swedish dynasty of the Ynglingas, followed by accounts of historical Norwegian rulers from Harald Fairhair of the 9th century up to the death of the pretender Eystein Meyla in 1177. The exact sources of his work are disputed, but included earlier kings' sagas, such as Morkinskinna, Fagrskinna and the twelfth century Norwegian synoptic histories and oral traditions, notably many skaldic poems. Snorri had himself visited Norway and Sweden. For events of the mid 12th century, Snorri explicitly names the now lost work Hryggjarstykki as his source. The composition of the sagas is Snorri's. (Quote from the AuthorSnorri Sturluson (1178 - 1241)Snorri Sturluson (1178 - September 23, 1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. He was three-time elected lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning ("the fooling of Gylfi"), a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skaldskaparmal, a book of poetic language, and the Ha'ttatal, a list of verse forms. He was also the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, Snorri is often taken to be the author of Egils saga. As a historian a...

Title : Heimskringla: The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway
Author :
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ISBN : 9781605067896
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 698 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Heimskringla: The Chronicle of the Kings of Norway Reviews

  • Neil
    2019-04-06 00:16

    The is a revised update of an early Everyman edition of Snorri's Heimskringla that was originally translated by Samuel Laing in the 1840s. The revisions are done by Jacqueline Simpson and Peter Foote, who for some strange reason revise the prose texts and supply new introductions but leave Samuel Laing's strange verse adaptions of Scaldic Poetry untouched, which in my opinion would have benefited from from a complete rewrite.This huge compilation of Norse Kings Sagas is made up of sixteen sagas that begin in the legendary Scandivian past at terminate in the thirteenth century. I found the Ynglinga saga to be the most interesting because it recounts the legendary history of the Norwegian kings and tells the story of the war between the Æser and Vaner. Also enjoyable was Harald Hardrada's saga, which tells of his invasion of and death in Yorkshire, prior to the Battle of Hastings.If my book collecting wasn't mostly focused on Medieval Literature, I would collect the Everyman editions and probably save myself a fortune because they're so inexpensive to find. Many years ago, I worked voluntary in a charity shop and the company policy was to throw all Everyman Classics away because there was so many of them and people didn't want them. which I just found sinful. So I rescued/stole this edition from the bin and have lovingly treasured it ever since.

  • Linda
    2019-04-04 06:16

    First of all, let me say that I can't imagine reading this on a Kindle. It's 800+ pages long and, if you're looking for action, boring. But it is a wonderful example of Scandinavian medieval literature. If you can get into the rhythm of it, the translator has done an excellent job of making it easy to read. Because it is medieval, it's hard sometimes to keep track of who is who. The author assumes you know (or remember from previously) who so-and-so is. Also there are little "stories" put in the middle of a king's saga that don't really relate to the rest. They just happened during that king's reign and were, to the author, important to mention.Since I have a degree in medieval literature (European rather than Scandinavian), I really enjoyed the book. I didn't have trouble when the author swings into a poem written to commemorate a particular action (kind of like a musical, I guess - time to break into song!!!). But it won't be for everyone since it is history and not action-packed.If you are of Norwegian descent or a reader of medieval literature or interested in the medieval point of view of kingship and Scandinavian society, pick it up. It's worth it.

  • Everett Darling
    2019-04-17 01:26

    Really interesting and a really valuable link to the past, but my eyelids hung heavy and often and getting through this was more of a chore than a pleasure. I wouldn't attempt this if you are new to the saga's if only for it's sheer size. Start with The Vinland Sagas. It's much more intruiging, with less focus on the kings, and more on commoner's--of the highly entertaining kind--lives and voyages, and it's a one-sitting kind of saga whereas the Heimskringla will soon become a new appendage.

  • Nicki Markus
    2019-04-13 00:38

    I got a copy of this book as I have a huge interest in the Viking era. And to that end, this is a great work to add to my library. On reflection, I maybe should have dipped into it in between other books, rather than read through it in one go. After a few chapters, it all started to become a little bit familiar and stodgy - one king harried here and there, married, and then died; then the next king harried here and there, married, and then died. I do not think this is a book for general readership per se - those looking for exciting Viking tales should try the Icelandic sagas instead - but for the history buff, this is a good work to add to one's collection.

  • Duntay
    2019-04-08 06:28

    Ignore the rather suspect black gothic text against a red background - this is an interesting book.So far, the first bit, "The Saga of the Ynglings" consists of along series of basically crap kings who rule for about five minutes each. They all die in a ludicrous manner - one drowns in a vat of mead while wandering around (drunk) to look for a place to take a pee, one gets lured into a cleft in a rock by a dwarf (while drunk) and is never seen again and others die by bull attack and nightmare.

  • Jeremy
    2019-04-11 01:37

    If Snorri's the Herodotus of the Middle Ages, this is his "Histories." Meaning, it's THE masterwork of epic nonfiction narrative prose for its time. Debate its accuracy all you like: it's a goddamn awesome read. This edition, from U of Texas Press, translated by Lee Hollander, is the one to get. Anything Scandinavian from Hollander or U of TX is top-notch, actually: the best edition of the Poetic Edda, for instance. Try the Saga of the Jomsvikings, too.

  • Maire Carmack
    2019-03-29 00:17

    Great book.Great stories of the Lords of Norway. Went into great detail of battles as well. It doesn't go into modern history though but this doesn't bother me.

  • Clarke Owens
    2019-04-15 08:27

    Fascinating history of Northern Europe (Norway, Denmark, Sweden) in (mostly) 10th to 12th Centuries.

  • Jason Rusbult
    2019-03-23 06:16

    Lots of historyThis book contains the oldest history of the Norwegian kings and of the Norse people. Anyone who has Norwegian heritage needs to read this book!

  • Anneli
    2019-03-24 07:31

    It is a good book and a beautiful edition. I read the Norwegian "Storm" edition. Good book but a hard read. Mostly because the narrative style or flow were that of old texts from about the 1100s and the book itself were worked on and rejigged in the late 1800s.Very interesting if you're into this sort of thing. Yes I took a long time to get through it but hey I wasn't doing it for school or anything. just for my own personal reasons.

  • Wulfheashod
    2019-03-22 03:35

    The Heimskringla is a must read for any one interested in Norse history and Lore....however this is a large body of work comprising the lives of the Norse rulers and it is not for the light hearted and in my opinion you must have more than a passing interest in Norse history to a) fully commit to this book and b) fully appreciate its contents. To the potential reader I would recommend to first read the Eddas (certainly the Prose Edda) and get a few Sagas - be they legendary or Icelandic - under your belt (Laxdaela Saga, Volsunga Saga or Egils Saga would be my recommendations) before attempting the Heimskringla purely to get an understanding of Norse mythology and literature and to get used to the form, prose and construction of the literature. Having said that, though the stories told are Sagas in their own right, the Heimskringla is also much unlike the Icelandic Sagas in its content and is of a much more epic scope akin to the Gesta Danorum. It is very much a fulfilling read, however it does take some time to accomplish. I have this edition in my library, however it is an old translation that definately needs sprucing up as it can seem quit dry....I have heard good things about the L. Hollander translation which may make for a lesser labour intensive read.

  • Varmint
    2019-03-26 00:26

    was going through a phase where i'd read everything by tolkein. and had started into the ancient texts that had inspired him. The heimskringla, the kalevala, beowulf, and such. there are elements of epic storytelling that you will find very familiar, and that make it easier to read than you'd think. and learned that my scandanavian ancestors were pretty brutal.

  • Devero
    2019-03-21 08:25

    Le saghe norrene, nella loro forma originaria, non sono molto interessanti, nel senso che non sono molto avventurose. Sono una lunga sequenza di eventi e genealogie che hanno un interesse per lo più filologico e legato agli studi di mitologia e linguistica. Non attendetevi granché da questa lettura.

  • Meg
    2019-03-20 05:32

    I loved it and I reread it often. Battling Norsemen, sly plotting, berserk rage, sailing to new lands for adventures. And with occasional weird poetry thrown in by the major characters! And for some strange reason, the genealogy had its own fascination. And it's all supposed to be true (although obviously there's artistic licence on the part of Snorri). What's not to like?

  • Jeta
    2019-04-14 05:10

    For anyone interested in the Norse history and literature this book is a must. However, it takes the patience of a historian to follow all the details on the lives of kings of Norway - a patience I did not have.

  • Billy Roper
    2019-03-26 01:22

    It is from Snorri the Icelander that we received the written inheritance of the sagas, tales of the Norse, and these collections of Viking religious and philosophical thought read like a northern Proverbs.

  • Marts(Thinker)
    2019-04-04 07:27

    This is quite an interesting read and to think I just came upon it whilst reading Jules Verne's 'Journey to the Center of the Earth'. Actually at first I had no idea that the text existed but finally decided to look it up.

  • Man
    2019-04-18 00:14


  • Caitlin
    2019-03-19 00:12

    to read

  • Britta
    2019-04-05 00:19

    This is the definitive saga of the Norwegian kings. It's enormous, so it may take quite a long time to get through, but my trip inspired me to explore all things Scandinavian.

  • Lars
    2019-03-20 04:30

    This 'brick' of a book is historically interesting. Recommended for anyone who may strive for further understanding of the creation of the Norway as one nation in the viking era and beyond.

  • Rick Davis
    2019-04-14 04:29

    Amazing. Review to follow when I have time.