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Old Norse Mythology

John Lindow

25 March 2021

ISBN: 9780197554487

240 pages

Price: £18.99



This unique introduction emphasizes how ancient Scandinavians understood and made use of their mythological stories.

  • New perspective on Norse mythology
  • Emphasis on the use and users of the mythology, not on the myths themselves
  • Historical sweep: the mythology from its sacral contexts to modern contexts

About the Author(s)

John Lindow, Professor Emeritus, Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley

John Lindow is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Scandinavian at the University of California, Berkeley.

Table of Contents

    Chapter 1: Introduction
    Chapter 2: Old Norse mythology from cosmology to eschatology
    Chapter 3: ONM as oral sacred text
    Chapter 4: ONM and learned medieval speculation
    Chapter 5: ONM and modern national and racial ideology
    Chapter 6: Conclusion
    Suggestions for Further Reading


"...this is one of the best studies I have seen so far of Old Norse mythology because this subject tends to be treated as if it is a cartoon in the media and by scholars who echo these myths." - Anna Faktorovich, editor-in-chief, Pennsylvania literary Journal

"Through judicious selection, Old Norse Mythology seeks to map out a diverse range of studies in which the mythology is central ... Old Norse Mythology is a study that it is good to see available in a series of 'accessible overviews of the world's mythological traditions'." - John Hines, Folklore

"Recommended. Graduate students, researchers, faculty." - D. J. Shepherd, CHOICE

"The format of Lindow's book is novel and, for this reader, a welcome innovation in a presentation of a written mythology.... Old Norse Mythology is the inaugural volume of a new series, World Mythology in Theory and Everyday Life, edited by folklorists Tok Thompson and Gregory Schrempp. With the publication of John Lindow's book, the series is off to an auspicious start." - William Hansen, Journal of Folklore Research