The stirring, bloody, and tragic saga that inspired such artists as Wagner, Borges, and Tolkien Written in Iceland a century after the close of the Viking Age, "The Prose Edda" is the source of most of what we know of Norse mythology. Its tales are peopled by giants, dwarves, and elves, superhuman heroes and indomitable warrior queens. Its gods live with the tragic knowledge of their own impending destruction in the cataclysmic battle of Ragnarok. Its time scale spans the eons from the world's creation to its violent end. This robust new translation captures the magisterial sweep and startling psychological complexity of the Old Icelandic original.
Snorri Sturlson (1179-1241) was an Icelandic descendant of the poet and hero from Egil's Saga, Egill Skallgrimsson. He was the best-known writer of the saga, author of the PROSE EDDA, which was written as a textbook for young poets who wished to praise kings, and HEIMSKRINGLA, a history of the kings of Norway, the most important prose collection in Old Norse literature. Jesse Bycock is Professor of Icelandic and Old Norse Literature at the University of California and has published widely on Medieval Iceland. For Penguin, he is the author of Viking Age Iceland (2001).