Book Series Durham Medieval and Renaissance Texts


Second edition

Tim W. Machan (ed)

  • Pages: 142 p.
  • Size:150 x 230 mm
  • Language(s):English, Old Norse
  • Publication Year:2008

Temporarily Out of Stock
  • ISBN: 978-0-88844-561-2
  • Paperback
  • Temporarily Out of Stock


Probably composed at the height of the Viking Age, Vafþrúðnismál recounts how one day the mysterious and powerful god Óðinn visits the hall of an ancient giant named Vafþrúðnir. There, with their heads wagered over the outcome, the two engage in a wisdom contest about how the world was created, who inhabits it, and what will come of it when the gods and giants battle one last time at the world-ending Ragnarok. The qualities that popular imagination sees in the Vikings — bravery, courage, and cunning — are the very qualities that the two adversaries display in their deadly game. By the time the game ends, and the poem with it, the reader has witnessed a vista not only of the terror and mystery of medieval Scandinavia but of its beauty as well.