Primary Sources Recommended for Study

The following reading list has been compiled to offer current students on the Tripos with the primary sources for the Part I study of:

Part I Paper 2 - Scandinavian history in the Viking Age

Paper co-ordinator: Dr Elizabeth Rowe

Kings' sagas and related texts

  • E. Christiansen (transl.), Saxo Grammaticus: Danorum regum heroumque historia, books X-XVI, BAR International series 84 and 118 (Oxford 1980-81)
  • E. Christiansen (transl.), The works of Sven Aggesen, twelfth-century Danish historian, Viking Society for Northern Research text series 9 (London 1992)
  • M. Driscoll (ed. and transl.), Ágrip af Nóregskonungasögum: a twelfth-century synoptic history of the kings of Norway, Viking Society for Northern Research text series 10 (London 1995)
  • P. Fisher and H. R. Ellis Davidson (transl.), Saxo Grammaticus, The history of the Danes, I: English text (Cambridge 1979)
  • L. M. Hollander (transl.), Heimskringla: history of the kings of Norway (Austin, TX 1964)
  • L. M. Hollander (transl.), The saga of the Jómsvíkings (Austin, TX 1955)
  • G. Johnston (transl.), The Faroe Islanders' saga (Ottawa 1975)
  • H. Pálsson and P. Edwards (transl.), Orkneyinga saga: the history of the earls of Orkney (London 1978)
  • H. Pálsson and P. Edwards (transl.), Knytlinga saga: the history of the kings of Denmark (Odense 1986)
  • H. Pálsson and P. Edwards (transl.), Magnus' saga: the life of St Magnus earl of Orkney, 1075-1116 (Oxford 1987)
  • C. Tolkien (transl.), The saga of king Heidrek the wise (Edinburgh 1960): for the Swedish kings' list (pp. 59-63)


  • V. Hreinsson (ed.), The complete sagas of Icelanders, 5 vols (Reykjavík 1997): all the Icelandic family sagas in English

Poetry and the Edda

  • A. Faulkes (transl.), Snorri Sturluson: Edda, Everyman Classics 499 (London 1987)
  • L.M. Hollander (transl.), Old Norse poems: the most important non-skaldic verse not included in the Poetic Edda (New York 1936)
  • L.M. Hollander (transl.), The skalds: a selection of their poems (Princeton, NJ 1945)
  • C. Larrington (transl.), The Poetic Edda, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford 1996)
  • R.G. Poole, Viking poems on war and peace: a study in skaldic narrative (Toronto, 1991)
  • R. North (ed. and transl.), The Haustlöng of Þjóðólfr of Hvinir (Enfield Lock 1997)
  • D. Whaley, The poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: an edition and study, Westfield publications in medieval studies 8 (Turnhout 1998)
  • D. Whaley, ed., Poetry from the kings’ sagas. 1, From mythical times to c. 1035 (Turnhout, 2012)
  • K. E. Gade, ed., Poetry from the kings’ sagas. 2 (Turnhout, 2009)

Law and non-saga history

  • A. Dennis et al. (transl.), The laws of early Iceland. Grágás: the Codex Regius of Grágás with material from other manuscripts, vol. I, University of Manitoba Icelandic Studies 3 (Winnipeg 1980)
  • L. M. Larson (transl.), The earliest Norwegian laws, being the Gulathing law and the Frostathing law, Records of civilization, sources and studies 20 (New York 1935)
  • S. Grønlie (transl.), Íslendingabók (The book of the Icelanders), Kristni Saga (The story of the conversion) (London, 2006)
  • H. Pálsson and P. Edwards (transl.), The book of settlements: Landnámabók, University of Manitoba Icelandic Studies 1 (Winnipeg 1972)

Inscriptions and place-names

  • S. B. F. Jansson, Runes in Sweden (2nd edn, Stockholm 1987)
  • E. Moltke, Runes and their origin: Denmark and elsewhere (Copenhagen 1985)
  • T. Spurkland, Norwegian runes and runic inscriptions, trans. B. van der Hoek (Woodbridge, 2005
  • M. Olsen, Farms and fanes of ancient Norway: the place-names of a country discussed in their bearings on social and religious history, Institutt for sammenlignende kulturforskning, serie A: Forelesninger 9 (Oslo 1928)

Non-Scandinavian sources

  • A. Campbell (ed. and transl.), Encomium Emmae reginae, Camden third series 72 (London 1949), 2nd edn by S. Keynes (Cambridge 1998)
  • S. H. Cross and O. P. Sherbowitz-Wetzor (transl.), The Russian Primary Chronicle: Laurentian text, The Mediaeval Academy of America publication 60 (Cambridge, MA 1953)
  • J. Bately and A. Englert, edd., Ohthere’s voyages: a late 9th-century account of voyages along the coasts of Norway and Denmark and its cultural context (Roskilde, 2007
  • G. Moravcsik and R. J. H. Jenkins (edd. and transl.), Constantine Porphyrogenitus: de administrando imperio, vol. I (Budapest 1949)
  • Rimbert, Vita Anskarii; C. H. Robinson, transl., in Carolingian Civilization: A Reader, ed. P. E. Dutton (Peterborough, Ont., 1993)
  • B. W. Scholz and B. Rogers (transl.), Carolingian chronicles: Royal Frankish annals and Nithard's histories (Ann Arbor, MI 1970)
  • P. Lunde and C. Stone (transl.), Ibn Fadlān and the Land of Darkness: Arab travellers in the far north (Harmondsworth, 2012)
  • F. J. Tschan (transl.), History of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen, Records of civilization: sources and studies 53 (New York 1959): Adam's essential if tendentious history