The Danish History, Books I-IX

The Danish History, Books I-IX

Grammaticus Saxo

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  • EAN: 9788832555233
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Saxo Grammaticus was a Danish historian and storyteller believed to have lived in the latter part of the twelfth century. Essentially, he was the first person to put the history of Denmark to paper. His history refer to 9 books of the Gesta Danorum, and the best known of which is Books 3 and 4 containing the story of Amleth, subsequently translated into French and embellished by de Belleforest, and made eternally famous by Shakespeare's play Hamlet.

The roots of Danish history sink into the antiquity, when the northern tribesmen 1st formulated what it was like to have a law order etc. They were war-like people, and of great ability. Not very different from the Norwegians or the Swedes and yet different.

The Danish History by Saxo is a serious historical work on a scale coparable with The Icelandic Sagas. For Danes, it is "A National Treasure" and the best available attempt to record the oral tradition of the Danes for the period before other written records. It is for the serious student - not for the fainthearted. For lovers of English literature, there are interesting stories that formed the basis for Hamlet and other works.

In the early years of the thirteenth century the Danish writer Saxo Grammaticus provided his people with a History of the Danes, an account of their glorious past from the legendary kings and heroes of Denmark to the historical present. It is one of the major sources for the heroic and mythological traditions of northern Europe, though the complex Latin style and the wide range of material brought together from different sources have limited its use. Here Hilda Ellis Davidson, a specialist in Scandinavian mythology, together with the translator Peter Fisher, provides a full English edition; each of the first nine books is preceded by an introductory summary, and a detailed commentary follows on the folklore and life and customs of twelfth-century Denmark - including the sources of Hamlet, of which Saxo gives the earliest known account.

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