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The First Nine Books of the Danish History of Saxo Grammaticus

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  111 ratings  ·  11 reviews

In the early years of the thirteenth century the Danish writer Saxo Grammaticus provided his people with a History of the Danes, an account of their glorious past from the legendary kings and heroes of Denmark to the historical present. It is one of the major sources for the heroic and mythological traditions of northern Europe, though the complex Latin style and the wide

Hardcover, 560 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by Kessinger Publishing (first published 1204)
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Saxo Grammaticus is far from a pleasant read but is a treasure trove of Germanic legend, although sometimes odd and giving very different versions to the legends contained in Eddic poetry and saga material, it's still essential reading. The added bonus to the Brewer edition is the inclusion of Davidson's book length introduction and commentary. The commentary provides a useful tool for readers wishing to compare Saxo's legends with the Old English, Icelandic and German versions.
Et godt råd til alle, der har tænkt sig at give sig i kast med den her bog: Start op med at læse om danske middelalderkonger! Saxo er så absolut ikke god til årstal eller genealogi, derfor er det en god hjælp, at have læst lidt op på kongerækken først. Ellers bliver du stik-tos-rund-forvirret! Så er det sagt.

Nicki Markus
This is a fascinating read that blends history with mythology. It looks at the reign of various kings and the heroes who fought for and against them, often linking in with aspects of Norse myth.
This is a great edition with extensive and very useful comments, explaining some of the finer points of the tales.
Well worth a read if you are interested in Scandinavian history and/or mythology.
Joseph F.
The edition I am reviewing is of an old translation by Oliver Elton. Although it uses the English we know from the King James' bible, it still has its charm. Here is a book that all lovers of Norse mythology should have. The stories are less of the dealings of the gods as we find in the Eddas, and more with the legendary history of Denmark. Think of it as Denmark's version of Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of England. Here are the stories of Frode, Starkad and Ragner Lodbrok, made f ...more
I had a hard time reading this book... I was a bit lost with all the names.
Saxo Grammaticus’s early-13th-century HISTORY OF THE DANES is a fascinating account of the (mostly legendary) Danish kings, and versions of many of the same stories are found in the Icelandic sagas and poetry. THE HISTORY OF THE DANES is perhaps best known as the earliest source for the Hamlet story, and for many people, that alone should be worth the price of admission. The only drawback to the book is that the footnotes, although extensive and quite useful, are printed as a separate volume.
The text is there, but very little else, which makes figuring out what's going on outside the text very difficult. And for something like Saxo Grammaticus, references to other texts/traditions would have been really very helpful.
If you need to read Saxo, then this is the edition to get. I'd rate Davidson's commentary at 4 stars. It's just Saxo himself that I dislike. ;-)
a must to uderstand your heritage and dream about when we were great - great stories of heroes and glory...
Jens Hansen
Only worth reading if you are a specialist or a native. I am the latter.
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Saxo Grammaticus (c. 1150-1220) also known as Saxo cognomine Longus was a Danish historian, thought to have been a secular clerk or secretary to Absalon, Archbishop of Lund, foremost advisor to Valdemar I of Denmark. He is the author of the Gesta Danorum, the first full history of Denmark.
More about Saxo Grammaticus...
Saxo Grammaticus I: I, Translation: The History of the Danes Danmarks Krønike - II Danmarks Krønike - III Saxo Grammaticus II: II, Introduction and Commentary: The History of the Danes Saxo Grammaticus and the Life of Hamlet: A Translation, History, and Commentary

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