Legendary Sagas in English * Miscellaneous Translations * Old Norse
Norse Sagas

1. Legendary Sagas in English

These belong to the fornaldarsögur genre, 'sagas of ancient times', also called Legendary Sagas, characterised by folklore and fantasy. They were written in Iceland, mostly during the 13th and 14th centuries, but are often reworkings of earlier legends, and some incorporate old poetry.

The translations are based on "Fornaldarsögur Norðurlanda" ed. Guðni Jónsson & Bjarni Vilhjálmsson, online at http://www.heimskringla.no/wiki/Fornaldarsögur_Norðurlanda (and, without introductions or index, at http://www.norron-mytologi.info/ and http://www.snerpa.is/net/forn/forn.htm and formerly http://server.fhp.uoregon.edu/norse/ ), except that for Ragnar's Sons I've also used Finnur & Eiríkur Jónsson's 1892-96 edition of Hauksbók (Vol. 2, pp. 458-467), online at Saganet [ http://saga.library.cornell.edu/ ], and for Half's Saga, Hubert Seelow's edition Hálfs saga ok Hálfsrekka (Stofnun Árnamagnússonar, Reykjavík 1981), and for Hervor's Saga various texts which are detailed in this tortuous Note.

These versions are still subject to revision: regard as prototypes. Suggestions, comments, corrections, queries? They may be freely copied, stored & distributed for non-commercial use, but this site will have the latest and most up-to-date versions. Here is a page of Norse Links. Here are some illustrations.

Eirek the Traveller

Fragment of a Saga about Certain Early Kings in Denmark and Sweden (Sögubrot)

Grim Shaggy-Cheek

Half & his Heroes

Helgi's Tale

Hervor & King Heidrek

Hrolf Kraki & his Champions

Illugi, Grid's Foster Son

The Kings of Oppland

Ragnar's Sons

Sorli's Tale, or the Saga of Hedin & Hogni

Sturlaug the Industrious

Toki's Tale

Yngvar the Traveller


2. Miscellaneous Translations

The Chronicle of the Kings of Lejre is an Old Danish text based partly on the same legends as Hrolf Kraki's saga.

Gutasaga: The History of the Gotlanders is from the Baltic Island of Gotland.

The Tale of Geirmund Deathskin ( Geirmundar þáttr heljarskinns ) stands at the beginning of Sturlunga saga "The Saga of the Sturlungs", in fact a collection of sagas set in 12th-13th century Iceland. It tells in greater detail the story of a character mentioned in the saga of Half & his Heroes. My translation is based of Guðmundur Vigfússon's edition of Sturlunga saga, a facsimile of which can be viewed at Saganet. For discussions of the symbolism in this tale, see Thomas Krömmelbein's article, Die Spitzenstellung des Geirmundar þáttr heljarskinns innerhalb der Kompilation Sturlunga saga, and Lois Bragg's Disfigurement, Disability and Dis-integration in Sturlunga saga, both in the online journal Alvíssmál.


3. In Old Norse

Geirmundar þáttr heljarskinns

Þorgils saga ok Hafliða

These are the first two parts of Sturlunga saga, based on Guðmundur Vigfússon's edition, although I've normalised the spelling, not stuck rigidly to his punctuation, and sometimed followed the emendations of other editors, especially those of Finnur Jónsson and Guðni Jónsson in the verses. Please let me know if you find any errors.


4. Forgeries

Loga saga loptgengils (What's all this then?)