The Saga of the Volsungs: The Norse Epic of Sigurd the Dragon Slayer
The Saga of the Volsungs is an Icelandic prose epic whose anonymous thirteenth-century author based his story on the legends of Old Scandinavian folk culture. A trove of traditional lore, it tells of love, jealousy, vengeance, war, and the mythic deeds of the dragonslayer, Sigurd the Volsung.
The Saga is of special interest to admirers of Richard Wagner, who drew heavily upon this Norse source in writing his Ring Cycle. With its magical ring acquired by the hero, and the sword to be reforged, the saga has also been a primary source for writers of fantasy such as J. R. R. Tolkien and romantics such as William Morris.
Byock's comprehensive introduction explores the history, legends, and myths contained in the saga and traces the development of a narrative that reaches back to the period of the great folk migrations in Europe when the Roman Empire collapsed.
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