Snorre Sturleson
2009 |
Social Science

Snorre Sturleson (1178-1241) was an Icelandic historian, poet and politician. He was twice elected lawspeaker at the Icelandic parliament, the Althing. He was the author of the Prose Edda or Younger Edda, which consists of Gylfaginning (The Fooling of Gylfi), a narrative of Norse mythology, the Skaldskaparmal, a book of poetic language, and the Hattatal, a list of verse forms. He was also the author of the Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings that begins with legendary material in Ynglinga Saga and moves through to early medieval Scandinavian history. For stylistic and methodological reasons, he is often taken to be the author of Egils Saga. As a historian and mythographer, he is remarkable for proposing the theory that mythological gods begin as human war leaders and kings whose funeral sites develop cults. As a chief and statesman Snorre behaved exactly the opposite of the resolute and often heroic characters of the sagas, to such a degree that his authorship of them is sometimes questioned. His name is also spelt Snorri Sturlusson/Sturlson/Sturlason.

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Heimskringla; Or, the Chronicle of the Kings of Norway