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“Tattúínardæla saga” online

March 21, 2010

Not many people know that the story behind George Lucas’ Star Wars film series has its origins in a much older story of a fatally opposed father and son, dating from the early medieval period and existing under varying titles in varying languages. The oldest identifiable version is the Old Norse dynastic saga conventionally called Tattúínárdæla saga, the saga of the people of the Tattúín river valley, which traces the activity of several generations of Icelanders and their run-ins with King Falfaðinn of Norway.

Naturally, having been a Star Wars fan since the age of 10 and a wannabe medievalist for almost as long, discovering Jackson Crawford’s translation of Tattúínárdæla saga online was like Christmas coming early. Crawford provides both the original text, in standardised Old Norse spelling, and his own English translations, which do an excellent job of rendering the story clear and readable whilst retaining the distinctive saga style. I encourage anyone interested in Old Norse, or just in the history of one of the most popular stories of modern times, to take a look.

The Introduction to the saga, in which he discusses some other versions and summarises the plot, can be found here.

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