Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu
Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu ( listen (help·info)) or the Saga of Gunnlaugr Serpent-Tongue is one of the Icelanders' sagas. Composed at the end of the 13th century it is preserved complete in a slightly younger manuscript. It contains 25 verses of skaldic poetry attributed to the main characters. It is an important work in both Norwegian and Icelandic literary history.
The saga relates the story of two Icelandic poets Gunnlaugr ormstunga and Hrafn Önundarson, and their competition for the love of Helga the Fair, granddaughter of Egill Skallagrímsson. The story opens with a prophetic dream of two eagles fighting over a swan, prefiguring the love triangle in the story. The narrative then follows Gunnlaugr and is sympathetic towards him as it describes his ambitious career as a court poet across Scandinavia and the British Isles. He first competes with Hrafn in verse and later in battle.
The saga has similarities to earlier sagas of poets, such as Kormáks saga and Bjarnar saga, but it is more refined and elegant with strong characterization and emotional impact. Long considered a masterpiece, the saga is often read by beginning students of Old Norse literature. Printed with a Latin translation and commentary in 1775, it was the first of the Icelanders' sagas to be published in a scholarly edition.
- Gunnlaugr is sometimes Anglicized as Gunnlaug. The cognomen can also be translated as Worm-Tongue or Snake-Tongue.
- Poole 2001:2.
- Hansen 2005:62.
- Hansen, Anne Mette et al. (2005). The Book As Artefact : Text And Border. Rodopi. ISBN 90-420-1888-7
- Poole, Russell (2001). Skaldsagas: Text, Vocation, and Desire in the Icelandic Sagas of Poets. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-016970-3
- "The Saga of Gunnlaug Serpent-Tongue" translated by Katrina C. Attwood in The Sagas of Icelanders edited by Örnólfur Thorsson (2001), pp. 558-94. Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-100003-1
- Full text and translations into many languages at the Icelandic Saga Database
- The Story of Gunnlaug the Worm-Tongue and Raven the Skald Translated by Eiríkr Magnússon and William Morris
- Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu Text with modern Icelandic spelling
- Gunnlaugs saga ormstungu Index of poetry from the saga
- Gunnlaugssaga An Old Norse edition
- La Saga de Gunnlaug Langue de Serpent A French translation
- Sagan om Gunnlög Ormtunga och Skald-Ram A Swedish translation
- Die Saga von Gunnlaug Schlangenzunge A German translation
- Die Geschichte von Gunnlaug Schlangenzunge Another German translation
- Sagan af Gunnlaugi Ormstungu ok Skalld-Rafni The 1775 Latin translation with parallel Old Norse text
- Søgan um Gunnleyg Ormstungu A Faroese translation
- Sagaen om Gunnlaug Ormstunge og Skalde-Ravn A Norwegian translation
- Sagaen om Gunløg Ormstunge og Helga den Fagre An illustrated Danish retelling
- Proverbs in Gunnlaugs saga Ormstunga