Book: Stories From Northern Myths by Emilie Kip Baker"Stories From Northern Myth" written in 1914 by Emilie Kip Baker. Most of the existing records on Norse Mythology date from the 11th to 18th century, having gone through more than two centuries of oral preservation in what was at least officially a Christian society. At this point scholars started recording it, particularly in the Eddas and the Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson, who believed that pre-Christian deities trace real historical people. There is also the Danish Gesta Danorum by Saxo Grammaticus, where the Norse gods are more strongly Euhemerized. The Prose or Younger Edda was written in the early 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, who was a leading skald, chieftain, and diplomat in Iceland. It may be thought of primarily as a handbook for aspiring skalds. It contains prose explications of traditional "kennings," or compressed metaphors found in poetry. These prose retellings make the various tales of the Norse gods systematic and coherent.
The mythological literature relates the legends of heroes and kings, as well as supernatural creatures. These clan and kingdom founding figures possessed great importance as illustrations of proper action or national origins. The heroic literature may have fulfilled the same function as the national epic in other European literatures, or it may have been more nearly related to tribal identity. Many of the legendary figures probably existed, and generations of Scandinavian scholars have tried to extract history from myth in the sagas.
Sometimes the same hero resurfaces in several forms depending on which part of the Germanic world the epics survived such as Weyland/Volund and Siegfried/Sigurd, and probably Beowulf/Bodvar Bjarki. Other notable heroes are Hagbard, Starkad, Ragnar Lodbrok, Sigurd Ring, Ivar Vidfamne and Harald Hildetand. Notable are also the shieldmaidens who were ordinary women who had chosen the path of the warrior. These women function both as heroines and as obstacles to the heroic journey.
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