Matthew Leigh Embleton

Musician, Composer, Producer, Language and History Enthusiast, and Author

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The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue (Gunnlaugs Saga Ormstungu): Norse Text, Translation, and Word List

The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue (Gunnlaugs Saga Ormstungu) is the story of a promising young man named Gunnlaug who achieves fame for his bravery and poetry in the courts of kings and earls throughout the Norse world. The story tells of poems praising kings and earls in verses received as gifts, in a culture where gift giving was a well established and important means of settling disputes, showing respect, and gaining favour and honour. However, a prophetic dream foretells the love rivalry and betrayal between Gunnlaugr Ormstunga, Hrafn önundarson, and Helga the Fair, ending in tragedy. These stories survived by oral tradition over several centuries before being written down at the beginning of the 14th Century. It is based on two different manuscripts, one from c1270 and the other from c1300, preserved in its complete form in the Sögubók (Holm. Perg. 18 4to). This book is designed to be of use to anyone studying or with a keen interest in Old Norse or Old Icelandic, clearly showing how these languages work, and the influence of these languages on English. Both Old Norse and Old Icelandic versions are included. This edition is laid out in three columns, the original text, a literal word-for-word translation, and a modern translation. Also included is a word list with over 1,000 definitions.

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