February 1965

Myth and Religion of the North.

Author Affiliations

By E. O. G. Turville-Petrie. Price, $7.95. Pp 340, with 49 illustrations. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, Inc., 383 Madison Ave, New York 10017, 1964.

Arch Intern Med. 1965;115(2):247-248. doi:10.1001/archinte.1965.03860140127031

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This is the first comprehensive account of the pagan beliefs of the Scandinavian countries. Not only is the material based on old Norse literary records and early Christian missionary observers, but, in addition, the latest finds in archeology have been integrated to present a dazzling portrait of this fascinating body of data. The lays of the Edda, the Icelandic Sagas and the 13th century writings of Snori Sturluson and Saxo provide the reader with fascinating analysis of the gods, the divine kings, ,and the significance of the various cults.

Lacking monumental illustrations and written documents, we shall never know the exact nature of the religion at the time of the Common Era. The Scandinavians alone saved and perpetuated the ancient, oral beliefs. Their poets and scholars, even though they belonged to the Church, piously noted the legends of the pagan gods. The old collection of poems, The Eddas, contains the songs,

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