Eastern Europe in Icelandic Sagas

Tatjana N. Jackson


Based on the material of the Old Norse Icelandic sources written down in the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, this book demonstrates how medieval Scandinavians imagined Eastern Europe. It reconstructs the system of medieval Scandinavian perception of space in general, and the eastern part of the oecumene in particular. It also examines the unique Old Norse sources, of which the Russian chronicles were unaware: namely, the saga and skaldic poetry data concerning the visits of the four Norwegian kings to Old Rus in the late-tenth and mid-eleventh centuries, and the matrimonial connections of the Russian ruling dynasty (the Rjurikid family) with the Scandinavian ruling houses in the eleventh to thirteenth centuries.


Introduction: Sources, Aims, Conventions
Part 1: Eastern Europe in the Old Norse Weltbild
Chapter 1: Austrhálfa on the “mental map” of medieval Scandinavians
Chapter 2: Austrvegr and Other aust-place-names
Chapter 3: Austmarr, “the Eastern Sea”, the Baltic Sea
Chapter 4: Traversing Eastern Europe
Chapter 5: East European rivers
Chapter 6: Garðar/Garðaríki as a designation of Old Rus’
Chapter 7: Hólmgarðr (Novgorod), and Kænugarðr (Kiev)
Chapter 8: Aldeigja/Aldeigjuborg, “Old Ladoga”
Chapter 9: “Hǫfuð garðar” in Hauksbók, and Some Other Old Russian Towns
Chapter 10: Bjarmaland
Part 2: Four Norwegian kings in Old Rus’
Chapter 1: Óláfr Tryggvason
Chapter 2: Óláfr Haraldsson
Chapter 3: Magnús Óláfsson
Chapter 4: Haraldr Sigurðarson

Author Bio(s)

Tatjana N. Jackson is the leading Russian Scandinavianist and author of more than ten books and three hundred papers on Russian-Scandinavian relations of the Middle Ages.

Author: Aisseco

Share This Post On