Medieval Nordic literature in its European context
Medieval Nordic literature, and especially literature from Iceland and Norway, is often seen as special to these areas and different from literature from other parts of Europe. This is in many ways true. Old Norse oral and orally derived genres have strong roots in Nordic soil. This is, however, not the whole truth.
The authors of the present book focus on the European context of Medieval Nordic literature, and show how texts written in the North formed parts of common European genres, had parallels in literature from areas outside the Nordic countries, were influenced by foreign literature, and in some cases followed the same literary trends as can be found on the continent and in the British Isles.
The articles of the book show, however, that Nordic milieus were not passive receivers of literary impulses and influences. On the contrary, literary milieus in the North played an active part in the transmission of genres, texts, and motifs. Authors and translators picked and chose what they liked or found useful for their purpose, and translated texts were adapted for their new Nordic audience.