This course is discontinued

MAS4121 – The Poetic Edda - from Orality to Literacy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

THIS COURSE HAS BEEN MOVED TO ILN AND HAS A NEW COURSECODE: NFI4121 – The Poetic Edda - from Orality to Literacy

The course gives an overview over the preserved eddic poems. Theories and methods of studying the eddic poetry as an oral tradition, are treated in the course. The relationship between theories of oral and written communication is a central theme.

Learning outcome

The students are to acquire a profound knowledge of the preserved eddic poetry. After the completion of the course they are to be able to read and interpret eddic poetry. Further, the students are to gain solid understanding of the existing theories on oral transmission of the poems, and theories on the Verschriftlichung (literarisation) of the texts.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

A requirement for admission is a completion of MAS4120, or a course with a similar content.

Recommended previous knowledge

This course builds on previous knowledge equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree in Western-European Medieval Studies or another Bachelor’s Degree with a major within a discipline that covers the Viking or Nordic Medieval period. The course provides a study of Old Norse texts, and therefore one is to be able to work with the Old Norse language.

Overlapping courses

The course can, primarily, be taken as a part of the master program of Nordic Viking and Medieval Studies. It is, however, also open for students taking other master programs that focus on Viking and European Middle Ages.

This course can not be incorporated into the former system.


The course of study extends over a whole semester. The structure of the course is tripartite, approx. 3x5 weeks. The first two weeks of each part will comprise of lectures, 2-4 hours per week. Two weeks of independent studies and assignment writing will, thereafter, follow. In the final week of each part the assignments are to be presented and discussed in plenary sessions.


At the end of the course, each student is to hand in a semester assignment, which the student has been working with throughout the whole semester. The assignment will comprise of roughly 10 pages, of appr. 2300 keystrokes, excluding spaces, per page. The semester assignment will form the base of the final grade, which will be given in alphabetical marks. In case of illness, documented by a medical certificate, a student may apply for a deferred/ new examination in the following semester.


Changes may occur.

If you are handicapped or functionally disabled in a way that is essentially disadvantegous when taking the examination, you can apply for a special arrangement of your examination.

Facts about this course




Every spring


Every spring

Teaching language