The Arthur of the North: The Arthurian Legend in the North and Rus' Realms

By Hughes, Shaun F. D. | Arthuriana, April 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

The Arthur of the North: The Arthurian Legend in the North and Rus' Realms


Hughes, Shaun F. D., Arthuriana


MARIANNE E. KALINKE, ed. The Arthur of the North: The Arthurian Legend in the North and Rus' Realms. Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages 5. Cardiff: University of Wales Press, 2011. Pp. x, 223. isbn: 978-0-7083-2353-3. $85.00.

The Arthur of the North is the fifth volume in the Series 'Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages,' which is intended as a collection of volumes dealing with Arthurian material in the national languages of Europe. Together, this series will replace R.S. Loomis' Arthurian Literature in the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1959). So far have appeared: Volume 1, The Arthur of the Welsh, ed. Rachel Bromwich, O.H. Jarman, and Brynley F. Roberts (1991) (reviewed in Arthuriana 6.3, 83-84); Volume 2, The Arthur of the English, ed. W.R.J. Barron (2001) (reviewed in Arthuriana 12.3, 112-13); Volume 3, The Arthur of the Germans, ed. W.H. Jackson and S.A. Ranawake (2000) (reviewed in Arthuriana 11.3, 122-24); and Volume 4, The Arthur of the French, ed. Glyn S. Burgess and Karen Platt (2006). Volume 6, The Arthur of Medieval Latin Literature, ed. Siân Echard, also appeared in 2011 and volumes on the Arthur of the Iberians and the Arthur of the Italians are promised. The editor of this volume, Marianne Kalinke, CAS Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures and Trowbridge Chair in Literary Studies Emerita at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is hardly a stranger to readers of this journal. She is the foremost authority on the Arthurian literature of Scandinavia, and her publications in this field include King Arthur North-by Northwest (Copenhagen, 1981), Norse Romances, 3 volumes, part III of the Arthurian Archives (Cambridge, 1999) (reviewed in Arthuriana 10.4, 78-80), as well as numerous handbook and encyclopedia contributions on the subject and a large number of articles in learned journals. Nor does this volume disappoint. Its nine articles on various aspects of Arthuriana in the Scandinavian Languages and a concluding article on the influence of Arthur on the medieval literature of Belarus and the Ukraine are all first rate contributions. Each contribution has its own bibliography (which leads to some duplication), and there is a brief general bibliography at the end of the volume where can also be found a list of manuscripts cited and a comprehensive index.

After a brief introduction to the subject matter, Kalinke opens the volume with an essay dealing with the introduction of Arthurian material into Scandinavia in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. The earliest text to be translated was the 'Prophetiae Merlini' from Book VII of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae, which was turned into a poem of 103 stanzas around 1200 as Merlinsspá, followed shortly afterwards by a prose version of the Historia under the title Breta sögur (The Histories of the Britons). However, the Golden Age for the translation of Arthurian materials into Norse is the thirteenth century, particularly during the reign of Hákon IV Hákonarsson of Norway (1217-63). He promoted the translation of romances involving the matière de Bretagne beginning with Tristrams saga ok Ísöndar. This is an important text as it preserves the complete narrative of the Roman de Tristan by Thomas de Bretagne which otherwise survives in French only in fragmentary form. This translation was followed by three romances of Chrétien de Troyes, which appeared as Erex saga, Ívens saga, and Parcevals saga with a separate Valvens þáttur (The Tale of Gawain). A collection of Breton lais, many by Marie de France, was also made under the Strengleikar [Stringed Instruments] and a translation of the Lai du cort mantel (Möttuls saga). Arthurian material was only a part of Hákon's program of translation, and Kalinke's essay is particularly useful in the way it contextualizes the different demands made on the translators and the consequences of this translation program for subsequent Icelandic literary history, particularly the development of the riddarasögur [stories of knights].

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Arthur of the North: The Arthurian Legend in the North and Rus' Realms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.