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Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia
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Myth and Religion of the North: The Religion of Ancient Scandinavia

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  69 ratings  ·  8 reviews
An overview of the pre-Christian religions of Scandinavia.
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published August 21st 1975 by Praeger (first published January 1st 1964)
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  69 ratings  ·  8 reviews

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Margarida de Oliveira Pedro
Jul 30, 2017 added it
Recommends it for: history and mythology buffs; people interested in their roots
A comprehensive work on the major gods of the North and the religious practices of its peoples. It does have a scholarly style, but it wasn’t a difficult read. The introduction focuses on the authenticity and reliability of the primary (and fragmentary) sources of Norse Mythology: the Eddas and the Sagas. Turville-Petre also turns to authors like Saxo Grammaticus (who wrote Gesta Danorum), Tacitus (and his Germania), and Jordanes (who wrote about the Goths in his Getica), chiefly when analyzing ...more
Sep 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: norse
The standard study of Scandinavian mythology. Contains chapters on all the major gods and goddesses, as well as the lesser known divinities and concepts such as creation, divine kingship and Ragnarok. A well written, scholarly and sensible account written by J R R Tolkien's pupil, Gabriel Turville-Petre. A must read for anyone seriously interested in pre Christian Norse religion. The book is constantly reprinted but sells out almost immediately and becomes a bit hard to find at times but is well ...more
Billy Roper
Jun 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
Focusing primarily on the Teutonic and Scandinavian gods rather than the Celtic, this book covers the Norse pantheon in its various mutations and permutations throughout prerecorded time to the establishment of the Icelandic Sagas in the 13th century, when they were finally written down in an only slightly influenced (by Christianity) form. More of our modern culture and language derive from this tradition than many are aware. What day of the week is it? Probably one named after a Norse god. A g ...more
Oct 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
The most comprehensive exploration of pre-Christian religious practices in the Nordic world that I have managed to find. Although it is over 50 years old and feels a little outdated, I learned tons of new information and found myself considering familiar figures and tales from entirely new perspectives. By analyzing medieval texts as well as the archaeological and etymological evidence, Turville-Petre reconstructs what Norse and Germanic pagans might have actually believed, not just what their C ...more
Allison Thaemlitz
An oldie but a goodie.
Jul 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un libro sicuramente ben fatto, con approfondimenti notevoli e molto interessanti su ogni aspetto del paganesimo nordico, a partire dalle fonti, che sono molte e analizzate in maniera così approfondita da essere quasi specialistica. Probabilmente è anche per questo che talvolta il filo del discorso sembra perdersi, anche se un veloce riepilogo chiarisce ogni dubbio.
L'unica pecca è la concentrazione eccessiva sui singoli dèi e sulle loro peripezie, piuttosto che sulla cosmogonia in generale, che
Katie Daniels
This is an excellent, unbiased and well-sourced overview of the myths and religion of the north. It covers the basics of the mythology, discusses the conflicting views, and gives a very comprehensive look at the history surrounding the religion of the Vikings. Turville-Petre is one of the first scholars I've seen defend Snorri's work and he does an excellent job of providing the original sources for every one of his claims.
Feb 17, 2012 rated it liked it
A classic. A bit dated now perhaps.
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