Prof Elizabeth Rowe

Reader in Scandinavian Studies

Fellow of Clare Hall

Contact Information

Clare Hall, Cambridge CB3 9AL (+44 01223 332360)
Department of ASNC
Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP
Office: S-R 36, (+44-1223-767313), email:

Departmental and College Responsibilities

  • Head of Department
  • Teaching in Scandinavian History in the Medieval Period (Parts I and II)
  • Contributor to the teaching of the special History seminar (Part II)
  • Chair of the Clare Hall Fellowship Committee

Academic Interests

Medieval Icelandic and Norwegian history; Medieval Icelandic historiography; Medieval Icelandic codicology and palaeography, New-historicist readings of Old Norse sagas and thaettir; the Norse-Gaelic interface.

Selected Publications


In progress: Iceland 1264–1550: History and Literary History 

Submitted for publication: The Medieval Annals of Iceland. Vol. 1: Translations [424 pp. without index]. Vol. 2: Analysis [274 pp. without index].

With Colmán Etchingham, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, and Jón Viðar Sigurðsson, co-author of Norse-Gaelic Contacts in a Viking world: Studies in the Literature and History of Norway, Iceland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man. Medieval Texts and Cultures of Northern Europe, Vol. 29. Turnhout: Brepols, 2019.

Ragnarr Loðbrók in Medieval Icelandic Historiography. Studia Medievalia Septentrionalia, Vol. 18. Vienna: Fassbaender, 2012.

The Development of Flateyjarbók: Iceland and the Norwegian Dynastic Crisis of 1389.  The Viking Collection, Vol. 15. Odense: Syddansk Universitets Forlag, 2005.


‘Anglo-Scandinavian contact from a Scandinavian perspective: Ecclesiastical and political contacts in Norway and Iceland c. 1000–1050.’ To appear in Gersum Conference Proceedings, ed. Richard Dance, Brittany Schorn, and Sara Pons-Sanz. Studies in the Early Middle Ages. Turnhout: Brepols, 2020.

‘“Axe-age, sword-age”: Writing battles in Viking Age and medieval Scandinavia.’ In Writing Medieval Battles: New Perspectives on Warfare and Memory in Europe, ed. Rory Naismith, Máire Ní Mhaonaigh, and Elizabeth Ashman Rowe. London: Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. Pp. 107–129.

Þættir – A Case Study: Stjörnu-Odda draumr.’ In A Critical Companion to Old Norse Literary Genre, ed. Massimiliano Bampi, Carolyne Larrington, and Sif Rikhardsdottir. Woodbridge: D. S. Brewer, 2020. Pp. 259–270.

‘The long and the short of it.’ In The Routledge Research Companion to the Medieval Icelandic Sagas, ed. Ármann Jakobsson and Sverrir Jakobsson. London: Taylor & Francis, 2017. Pp. 151–163.

Fornaldarsögur and heroic legends of the Edda.’ In The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Heroic Legend, ed. Carolyne Larrington and Paul Acker. London: Routledge, 2013. Pp. 202–218.

Sögubrot af fornkonungum: Mythologised History for Late Thirteenth-Century Iceland.’ In Making History: Essays on the Fornaldarsögur, ed. Martin Arnold and Alison Finlay. London: Viking Society for Northern Research, 2010. Pp. 1–19.

‘Helpful Danes and Pagan Irishmen: Saga Fantasies of the Viking Age in the British Isles.’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2009) 5:1–21.

Ragnars saga loðbrókar, Ragnarssona þáttr, and the Political World of Haukr Erlendsson.’ In Fornaldarsagaerne: Myter og virkelighed, ed. Agneta Ney, Ármann Jakobsson, and Annette Lassen. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum, 2009. Pp. 347–360.

‘Literary, Codicological, and Political Perspectives on Hauksbók.’ Gripla (2008) 19:51-76.

‘Quid Sigvardus cum Christo? Moral Interpretations of Sigurðr Fáfnisbani in Old Norse Literature.’ Viking and Medieval Scandinavia (2006) 2:167–200.

‘The Adaptation of Laxdæla Saga in Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta.’ Leeds Studies in English (2005) n. s. 36:157–174.

‘The Möðruvallabók Text of Chapter Five of Kormaks saga: A Palaeographical Commentary.’ In A New Introduction to Old Norse, Part II: Reader, third edition, ed. Anthony Faulkes. London: Viking Society for Northern Research / University College London, 2005. Pp. 239–253.

‘Short Prose Narrative (Þáttr).’ Co-authored with Joseph Harris (Harvard University). In A Companion to Old Norse – Icelandic Literature and Culture, ed. Rory McTurk. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, 2005. Pp. 462–478.

‘Absent Mothers and the Sons of Fornjótr: Late-Thirteenth-Century Monarchist Ideology in Þorsteins saga Víkingssonar.’ Mediaeval Scandinavia (2004) 14:133–60.

Þorsteins þáttr uxafóts, Helga þáttr Þórissonar, and the Conversion Þættir.’ Scandinavian Studies (2004) 76:459–474.

‘Fornaldarsögur and Flateyjarbók.’ Gripla (2003) 14:93–105.

‘Origin Legends and Foundation Myths in Flateyjarbók.’ In Old Norse Myths, Literature and Society, ed. Margaret Clunies Ross. The Viking Collection 14. Odense: Odense University Press, 2003. Pp. 198–216.

‘The Flateyjarbók Annals as a Historical Source: A Response to Eldbjørg Haug.’ Scandinavian Journal of History (2002) 27:233–241.

‘Sörla Þáttr: The Literary Adaptation of Myth and Legend.’ Saga-Book of the Viking  Society (2002) 26:38–66.

‘Cultural Paternity in the Flateyjarbók Version of Ólafs saga Tryggvasonar.’ Alvíssmál  (1998) 8:3–28.

‘Folktale and Parable: The Unity of Gautreks Saga.’ Gripla (1998) 10:155–166.

‘The Female Body Politic and the Miscarriage of Justice in Athelston.’ Studies in the Age of Chaucer (1995) 17:79–98.

‘Historical Invasions / Historiographical Interventions: Snorri Sturluson and the Battle of Stamford Bridge.’ Mediaevalia (1994 [for 1991]) 17:149–176.

‘Generic Hybrids: Norwegian “Family” Sagas and Icelandic “Mythic-Heroic” Sagas.’  Scandinavian Studies  (1993) 64:539–554.

‘Searching for the Highest King: St. Christopher and Þáttr Sveins ok Finns.’ Arkiv för Nordisk Filologi (1990) 105:131–139.

‘Irony in the Old English and Old Norse Interrogative Situation.’ Neophilologus (1988) 73:447–479.

‘Structure and Pattern in Chaucer’s Knight’s Tale.’ Florilegium (1986) 8:169–186.