VMS2102 – Saga Narrative

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This course focuses on the development of Old Norse saga literature based on the reading of a selection of texts in the original language and translation, mainly from the kings' sagas, sagas of Icelanders and legendary sagas (fornaldarsögur). Structure, intertextual relationships and prosimetrum (the connection between poetry and prose) will be of central importance.

Other topics to be presented and discussed include: the relation between realism and fiction, textual criticism, oral tradition and authorship.

Learning outcome

After successfully concluding this course you will:

  • Be able to point to characteristic features in the development of saga literature
  • Know the most important stylistic features of realistic and fantastic saga literature
  • Possess some knowledge about the composition of saga literature
  • Have a critical and informed insight into saga scholarship, both contemporary and from a historical perspective


Formal prerequisite knowledge

One should be able to read Old Norse literary texts in the original, and the course presupposes a good knowledge of Old Norse grammar on the level of NFI1101 – Norrøn grammatikk og eldre språkhistorie or NFI4120 – Old Norse - language and texts.

One should also have an overview of Old Norse litterature equivalent of NFI1320 – Norrøn litteratur 1 (Nordisk litteratur fram til 1500).


The teaching is given in 14 double seminars. Teaching takes place throughout the semester.

A qualifying paper has to be approved before the student may take the final exam.

Approved obligatory assignments are valid the next two times the course is given.

Access to teaching

A student who has completed compulsory instruction and coursework and has had these approved, is not entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework. A student who has been admitted to a course, but who has not completed compulsory instruction and coursework or had these approved, is entitled to repeat that instruction and coursework, depending on available capacity.


The final examination will be an oral exam

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

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019


Autumn 2019

Teaching language