Sagas of the Vikings: Outlaws & Poet-Warriors


Recent film, television and gaming media sources have sparked the imagination of new generations interested in the Viking Age. Based on these representations in popular culture, you might think the people originating in the North during this historical period were marauding pirates. The medieval sagas of the Icelanders prove that there is much more to learn about the Viking Age. The stories of these outlaws and poet-warriors — no strangers to axe and sword — allow us to undertake a journey of discovery about the limits of law and order, the value of peaceful compromise, the conversion from pagan heritage to Christianity, and the deep spring of emotions and intellectualism in the minds of poets.

Course Curriculum and Features

In this course we’ll read modern translations of primary texts of sagas and tales to explore the theme of outlaws and poet-warriors. In addition to videos, class lectures and discussions, you’ll go on a field trip to the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard and explore traces of the Viking Age in our modern culture.

Designed For

Those interested in Scandinavia, literature, mythology, pagan-Christian conversion, law, politics and history.


Lars Jenner

Lecturer, Department of Scandinavian Studies

Aug 22–Sep 15, 2017

UW Seattle
9:30 a.m.–12 p.m.