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The Sagas

Saga: ‘a long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic’ Oxford English Dictionary.

There are three main categories of Old Norse Sagas:


The Íslendingasögur (Sagas of the Icelanders, or the Family Sagas) are a series of prose narratives about events that took place in the so-called 'Saga Age', that is the period of the 9th, 10th and early 11th centuries. They tell of the family histories and conflicts that relate to the settlement of Iceland. Mostly written in the 13th and 14th centuries.


Legendary sagas (lit. 'sagas of ancient times) Usually concerning events before the settlement of Iceland, these sagas often contain episodes with mythological creatures such as dwarves, elves, giants and magic. They were mostly written between the middle of the 13th century and c. 1400.


Chivalric sagas (lit. 'the sagas of knights) Starting in the 13th century, these were a series of norse versions of the French chansons de geste and Latin Romances.

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