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The Arthur of the North

The Arthurian Legend in the Norse and Rus' Realms

Editor(s): Marianne E. Kalinke

Language: English

Genre(s): History

Series: Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages

November 2015240 pages

Hardback - 9780708323533 Paperback - 9781783167876 eBook - epub - 9781783164554 eBook - mobi - 9781783164561 eBook - pdf - 9780708323540

About The Book

The Arthur of the North is the first book-length study of the Arthurian literature that was translated from French and Latin into Old Norse-Icelandic in the thirteenth century, which has been preserved mostly in Icelandic manuscripts, and which in early modern times inspired the composition of narrative poems and chapbooks in Denmark, Iceland and Norway, chiefly of the Tristan legend. The importation of Arthurian literature in the North, primarily French romances and lais, is indebted largely to the efforts of King Hákon Hákonarson (r. 1217–63) of Norway, who commissioned the translation of Thomas de Bretagne’s Tristan in 1226, and subsequently several Arthurian romances by Chrétien de Troyes and a number of Breton lais. The translations are unique in that the French metrical narratives were rendered in prose, the traditional form of narrative in the North. The book concludes with a chapter on Arthurian literature in the Rus’ area, precisely East Slavic, with a focus on the Belarusian Trysčan.


1 The Introduction of the Arthurian Legend in Scandinavia
Marianne E. Kalinke
2 Sources, Translations, Redactions, Manuscript Transmission
Marianne E. Kalinke
3 Breta sögur and Merlínússpá
Stefanie Gropper
4 The Tristan Legend
Geraldine Barnes
5 The Translated Lais
Carolyne Larrington
6 The Old Norse-Icelandic Transmission of Chrétien de Troyes’s Romances:Ívens saga, Erex saga, Parcevals saga with Valvens þáttr
Claudia Bornholdt
7 The Old Swedish Hærra Ivan Leons riddare
William Layher
8 Arthurian Echoes in Indigenous Icelandic Sagas
Marianne E. Kalinke
9 Arthurian Ballads, rímur, Chapbooks and Folktales
M. J. Driscoll
10 Arthurian Literature in East Slavic
Susana Torres Prieto

About the Editor(s)

Marianne E. Kalinke

Professor M.E. Kalinke (retired) was until May 2006 Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies Emerita and Center for Advanced Study Professor of Germanic languages and Comparative Literature Emerita, University of Illinois.

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