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The history of modern western culture is anything but a simple, direct road. Along the way from Greece to New York lie a mind-boggling array of conquests, battles, lies, loves, and dreams. Among the most effective and powerful conquerers of history are the Norsemen, the Vikings. Coming from Celtic stock - the group of people who occupied most of northern Europe and whose culture survived longest in the British Isles and the far north -- the Vikings conquered and brought their culture through their conquests. Like the peoples of Wales, Ireland, and Scotland, the Norse were blessed with geographic isolation, and that isolation preserved their mythology. That mythology impacts us deeply, even today. Most of our days of the week are named for Norse gods and heroes; most of our modern fantasy can trace its roots very firmly to Norse legend. And even many of our urban myths build their modern ideas on ancient Norse foundations.

LECTURE

In-class PowerPoint & Notes

 
REQUIRED READINGS
 
Below are your assigned readings -- the first 5 are simple "introductions" to some of the primary characters in Norse myth.

Berserker
I know this one is difficult, but wade through it. The questions on the homework sheet should help a bit. Stop when you get to the part about Grendel

Niebelungenlied
Focus on the synopsis of the story here

HOMEWORK PDF/ HOMEWORK MSWord

 

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