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HI502J: OLD NORSE 1: LANGUAGE, LITERATURE AND CULTURE (2020-2021)

Last modified: 05 Aug 2021 13:04


Course Overview

Old Norse was also the primary literary language of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, notably the Icelandic sagas and skaldic and eddic poems. This course will provide the basic linguistic tools needed to read Old Norse texts, and some background about the history of the language and its links with other languages. No prior knowledge of Old Norse is assumed. This course uses Old Norse literature, in particular the sagas and Eddas, to introduce aspects of early Scandinavian culture, including literature and pre-Christian religion.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session First Sub Session Credit Points 30 credits (15 ECTS credits)
Campus Aberdeen Sustained Study No
Co-ordinators
  • Dr Hannah Burrows

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • Any Postgraduate Programme

What other courses must be taken with this course?

None.

What courses cannot be taken with this course?

  • HI502Z Sagas and Society (Passed)

Are there a limited number of places available?

No

Course Description

Old Norse is the direct ancestor of modern Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, Icelandic and Faroese. It was the lingua franca of Viking-Age Scandinavia, and had a lasting impact on the development of the English language. It was also the primary literary language of the Scandinavian Middle Ages, notably the Icelandic sagas and skaldic and eddic poems. It is, hence, the gateway to a fuller understanding of mediaeval Scandinavia, the “Latin” of the North. This course will provide the basic linguistic tools needed to read Old Norse texts, and some background about the history of the language and its links with other languages. No prior knowledge of Old Norse is assumed. This course uses Old Norse literature, in particular the sagas and Eddas, to introduce aspects of early Scandinavian culture, including literature and pre-Christian religion.


In light of Covid-19 this information is indicative and may be subject to change.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 1 Seminar during University weeks 8, 10, 12, 14, 16
  • 2 Seminars during University weeks 9, 11, 13, 15, 17

More Information about Week Numbers


In light of Covid-19 and the move to blended learning delivery the assessment information advertised for second half-session courses may be subject to change. All updates for second-half session courses will be actioned in advance of the second half-session teaching starting. Please check back regularly for updates.

Summative Assessments

4000 words essay (60%)

Take-home tests (40%)

Formative Assessment

There are no assessments for this course.

Course Learning Outcomes

Knowledge LevelThinking SkillOutcome
FactualRememberILO’s for this course are available in the course guide.

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