Looking to study Old Norse?
Are you tired of listening to John and Andy go on and on about the sagas of Icelanders? Summaries not enough for you anymore? It might be time for you to start studying Old Norse.
We’ve put together a useful list of resources that might help you on your journey to reading the sagas in the original.
Click on the images and links to purchase any of the materials listed below.
We recommend starting with Jesse Byock’s Viking Language 1, a handy and accessible textbook designed to teach Old Norse through the most common words used in the sagas.
When you finish that, you’ll want to pick up Viking Language 2, the companion reader.
We also highly recommend E.V. Gordon’s An Introduction to Old Norse, which both John and Andy used when studying Old Norse back at the University of Connecticut.
You should also check out A New Introduction to Old Norse, a 3 volume Grammar, Reader, and Glossary by Michael Barnes and Anthony Faulkes. This one is available for purchase or you can download pdf copies for free (and legally) from the Viking Society for Northern Research publications page.
You’ll also want a good dictionary once you get going. We recommend two:
An Icelandic-English Dictionary by Richard Cleasby and Gudbrand Vigfusson.
A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic by Geir T. Zoëga.
Of course, maybe you’re interested in online resources for helping you learn Old Norse. Never fear. There are plenty of resources for you out there.
Dr. Jackson Crawford’s Old Norse Channel is one of the best places you can go for some online Old Norse. He provides informative and entertaining videos on Old Norse language, culture, mythology, and sagas. Plus, the settings are pretty incredible.
The Linguistics Research Center at the University of Texas – Austin also has a useful online course in Old Norse. It’s free and does a nice job of introducing the basics of the language.
We are sure there is more out there that we’re missing. Please let us know if you’d like us to add any resources you’ve found useful.