NFI4121 – The Poetic Edda - from Orality to Literacy

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

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.

Students enrolled in other Master's Degree Programmes can, on application, be admitted to the course if this is cleared by their own study programme.

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

The minimum number of attendants for the course is 5.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

NFI4120 – Old Norse - language and texts, or equivalent.

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.


Group teaching in the form of seminars and individual tutorials and will amount to 20 hours in total.

The course is structured into blocks with lectures followed by group work in which students translate and comment on texts


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.

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

A term paper or equivalent that is passed may not be resubmitted in revised form.

If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.



Facts about this course






Autumn 2019

The course is only offered with at least 5 registered students


Same semester as the course is taught.

Teaching language