Poetry of the Vikings

Course Dates: 09/05/22 - 13/06/22
Time: 18:00 - 19:30
Location: Online
Medieval Norse or Icelandic Poetry contains the bulk of the myth and legends relating to the Germanic peoples who migrated across Europe in the first Century A.D. Some of it is praise poetry, very complex in nature, made by Scandinavian court poets. Some of it appears within the great Saga literature. This course looks at some principal material about the creation and demise of the world, about gods, heroes, and a character who is driven into a snake pit and who plays the harp with his feet!
This course will be delivered online. See the ‘What is the course about?’ section in course details for more information.
Book your place
In stock
Full fee £89.00 Senior fee £89.00 Concession £54.00

Course Code: HLT210

Mon, eve, 09 May - 13 Jun '22

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Or call to enrol:020 7831 7831

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What is the course about?

This course introduces you to the principal forms of Old Norse poetry, written in the early medieval period. We will be looking at the Poetic Edda, which contains Norse myths, alongside the poetry that appears in saga material.

This is a live online course. You will need:
- Internet connection. The classes work best with Chrome.
- A computer with microphone and camera is best (e.g. a PC/laptop/iMac/MacBook), or a tablet/iPad/smart phone/iPhone if you don't have a computer.
- Earphones/headphones/speakers.
We will contact you with joining instructions before your course starts.

What will we cover?

The relationship between the poetry and other European medieval poetry.
The relationship between the prose and the poetry that appears in the sagas.
Key themes in the poetry.
The stylistic variation in the various poetic forms.
The types of character found in the poetry and how they are treated by the writers.
Some principal events in the poetry and, where relevant, their relationship to historical events in Iceland and Scandinavia.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

Understand a little about the types of character found in the poetry.
Be aware of some principal concerns of the poems.
Discriminate between the different categories of poetry.
Understand the manuscript culture in which the poetry was written.
Be aware of the history and legend that appears in the poetry.
Understand the stylistic variation that was created by Old Norse poets.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

Although this course focuses on Medieval material originally written in Old Norse, it is not technical and requires no specific knowledge of linguistics or linguistic terms. All work will be looked at in translation.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

By presentation, demonstration and group discussion. To get the most out of the course there will be some preparation to do between classes, though this is not mandatory.

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

All texts we will look at will be provided in electronic documents by the tutor.

There are many sagas, and books that you could purchase. However, The Poetic Edda in Oxford World’s Classics is a great introduction.

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

The tutor will also be teaching Sagas of the Vikings, course code HLT216 from 20 June to 25 July.

Look for other Literary History courses at www.citylit.ac.uk/courses under history, culture & writing/literature/literary history.

Steven Breeze

Steven teaches medieval literature, including Old and Middle English, Old Norse literature, and modern interpretations of medieval works and the medieval period for the Culture and Humanities department at City Lit. He has taught at City Lit since 2013, and he also has experience teaching in higher education and in secondary schools. Steven completed a PhD at Birkbeck, University of London, in 2018, and has degrees in English and anthropology, a master’s degree in ethnomusicology and a PGCE. He is currently writing a book about performance in Old English poetry, which will be published in 2021 by Boydell and Brewer. In addition to his specialist work in Culture and Humanities, Steven also teaches in the Business and Technology department.

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.