So I said I’d write a separate post about the Prose Edda, concerning its ambiguities and its interesting journey from myths and stories told by Norse poets to its status as an important document of northern European history.
The first thing that really grabbed me about the Prose Edda was the ambiguity of it. It was written by an Icelandic chieftain, Snorri Sturluson, who seems to have been a pretty Machiavellian guy. His life was defined by his desire to be the most powerful man in Iceland. To this end, he got cosy with King Hakon of Norway. Some scholars have suggested that this was in order to bring Iceland under Norwegian rule. His failure in this was eventually the death of him. He was murdered by his son-in-law at the order of King Hakon.
Here’s the list of moments I’ve kept waffling on about in my essay and presentations. I use the word moment because I think the best way of looking at this history is to break it down in to a few snapshot moments. I don’t like the word moments that much but can’t think of anything better. I’m not saying these will defnitely be the ones I’ll use, but they’re what I’m looking at for the moment.