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Hrólfs saga kraka

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Title: Hrólfs saga kraka  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Sources of Hamlet, Legendary sagas, An Introduction to Old Norse, List of Germanic heroes, Hrothgar
Collection: Legendary Sagas
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Hrólfs saga kraka

Hrólfs saga kraka, the Saga of King Hrolf Kraki, is a late legendary saga on the adventures of Hrólfr Kraki and his clan, the Skjöldungs. The events can be dated to the late 5th century and the 6th century. A precursor text may have dated to the 13th century,[1] but the saga in the form that survived to this day dates to ca. 1400.[1] 44 manuscripts survive,[1] but the oldest one of them is from the 17th century,[1] although a manuscript is known to have existed c. 1461 at the monastery of Möðruvellir in Iceland.[1]

The saga elaborates on the same matter as several other sagas, and chronicles, in Scandinavian tradition, and also in the Anglo-Saxon poems Beowulf and Widsith. In Beowulf and Widsith, many of the same characters appear in their corresponding Old English forms: Hrólfr Kraki appears as Hroðulf, his father Helgi as Halga, his uncle Hróarr as Hroðgar, his grandfather Halfdan as Healfdene and their clan, the Skjöldungs, as the Scyldings. Moreover, some of their enemies also appear: Fróðo as Froda and king Aðils of Sweden as the Swedish king Eadgils.

A more in depth summary of this saga exists in the page for Hrólfr Kraki.


  1. ^ a b c d e Byock 1998, p. viii

Bibliography and external links

Original texts
  • Hrólfs saga kraka ok kappa hans in Old Norse from
English translations
  • Byock, Jesse L. (trans.) (1998). The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki. London: Penguin.
    • The Saga of King Hrolf KrakiThe Viking Site: Excerpts from (selections).
  • Jones, Gwyn (trans.) (1961), Eirik the Red: And Other Icelandic Sagas, Oxford World's Classics (Oxford: Oxford University Press),  
  • Tunstall, Peter (trans.) (2003). "The Saga of Hrolf Kraki and his Champions". London: Northvegr. 
  • Poul Anderson (1973). Hrolf Kraki's Saga. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-23562-2. New York: Del Rey Books. ISBN 0-345-25846-0. Reprinted 1988 by Baen Books, ISBN 0-671-65426-8. A modern retelling.
  • Anderson, Carl Edlund. Formation and Resolution of Ideological Contrast in the Early History of Scandinavia (Ph.D.). University of Cambridge, Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse & Celtic (Faculty of English). 
  • Literary Encyclopedia entry
  • Hrólfs Saga Kraka ok Kappa hansProverbs and proverbial materials in
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