The incorporation of oral historical tradition in the early historical texts : Snorri's Ynglingasaga and Nestor’s Primary Chronicle

DSpace Repository


Dokumentart: ConferenceObject
Date: 2002
Language: English
Faculty: 5 Philosophische Fakultät
Department: Sonstige - Neuphilologie
DDC Classifikation: 839 - Other Germanic literatures
Keywords: Saga , Island
Other Keywords:
oral tradition , sources of writing , christian tradition
Show full item record


Oral tradition is one of the most important sources of early history-writing all over Europe. However its usage by the first authors of ‘barbarian histories’ and the mechanisms of its incorporation in the texts, in spite of many common features, differ greatly in various regional traditions. Both Snorri and Nestor base on historical traditions about early rulers, they both construct genealogical sequences of Uppsala konungs and Kievan princes, and develop characteristic patterns of ‘biographic’ description with a fixed set of events and a special stress on the deaths and burial places of the lords. Both Snorri and Nestor are Christians, however their texts show principally different attitudes to the Christian tradition and different degree of dependence on the Bible as a model for depicting events. Though both Snorri and Nestor strive to incorporate their national history into the world one, that is into the history of the Christian world, their methods of doing so vary. One of the main reasons of principal differences between the construction of early history by Snorri and by Nestor lies in the tradition which served as a model for each of them: the saga tradition for Snorri and the Byzantine chronicle-writing for Nestor.

This item appears in the following Collection(s)