Rudolf Simek

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Rudolf Simek
Rudolf Simek.jpg
Rudolf Simek at the Ring*Con [de] convention in Bonn, Germany in 2012
Born (1954-02-21) 21 February 1954 (age 68)
Eisenstadt, Austria
Academic background
Alma mater
Academic advisors
Academic work
DisciplineGermanic studies
Main interests
Notable worksDictionary of Northern Mythology (1993)

Rudolf Simek (born 21 February 1954) is an Austrian philologist and religious studies scholar who is Professor and Chair of Ancient German and Nordic Studies at the University of Bonn. Simek specializes in Germanic studies, and is the author of several notable works on Germanic religion and mythology (including Old Norse religion and mythology), Germanic peoples, Vikings, Old Norse literature, and the culture of Medieval Europe.


Rudolf Simek was born on 21 February 1954 in Eisenstadt, Austria. From 1972 to 1976, Simek studied German, philosophy and Catholic theology at the University of Vienna, and subsequently lectured there. Among his teachers at Vienna were Helmut Birkhan and Otto Gschwantler. Simek gained a PhD in Nordic philology at Vienna in 1980 with a thesis on Old Norse terms for ships, which was published in 1982. He gained a MA at Vienna in 1981, while continuing to lecture there. In 1989, Simek lectured at the University of Edinburgh.

Simek completed his habilitation at Vienna in 1990 with a thesis on Old Norse cosmography, which was subsequently published as a supplement to the Reallexikon der Germanischen Altertumskunde. Simek headed the library at the Institute for Germanic Studies at the University of Vienna until 1995. From 1990 to 1995, Simek was also Professor of German Studies at the Catholic University of Heiligenkreuz. He was appointed Docent in 1995.

Since 1995, Simek has been Professor and Chair of Ancient German and Nordic Studies at the University of Bonn.[1] Simek was appointed Professor of Comparative Religion at the University of Tromsø in 1999, and Professor of Old Nordic Studies at the University of Sydney in 2000. Simek has held a number of visiting professorships, having had long research stays at the universities of Reykjavik, Copenhagen, London, Oxford and Sydney. From 2000 to 2003, Simek was Chairman of the International Saga Society (German: Internationalen-Saga-Gesellschaft). Simek is a member of many additional learned societies, including the International Arthurian Society, the Österreichische Gesellschaft für Germanistik, the Viking Society for Northern Research, the Society for Northern Studies, and the Royal Gustavus Adolphus Academy.[1]


Simek researches a wide variety of topics connected to the Middle Ages. This includes Germanic religion and mythology (including Old Norse religion and mythology), Vikings and the Viking Age, Old Norse literature, and medieval science (including astronomy) and popular religion. Simek has published a number of notable works on these subjects, several of which have been translated into multiple languages.[1]

Selected works[edit]

  • Lexikon der germanischen Mythologie, Stuttgart, Kröner, 1984 ISBN 3-520-36801-3 (translations to English, French and Icelandic)
  • Lexikon der altnordischen Literatur (with Hermann Pálsson), Stuttgart, Kröner, 1987 ISBN 3-520-49001-3
  • Altnordische Kosmographie. Studien und Quellen zu Weltbild und Weltbeschreibung in Norwegen und Island vom 12. bis zum 14. Jahrhundert, Berlin/New York, de Gruyter, 1990 (Reallexikon der germanischen Altertumskunde. Ergänzungsbände, Bd. 4) ISBN 3-11-012181-6
  • Erde und Kosmos im Mittelalter. München, C.H. Beck, 1992. ISBN 3-406-35863-2
  • Die Wikinger, München, C.H. Beck, 1998 ISBN 3-406-41881-3 (translation to Spanish)
  • Religion und Mythologie der Germanen, Stuttgart, Theiss 2003 ISBN 3-8062-1821-8
  • Götter und Kulte der Germanen, München, C.H. Beck, 2004 ISBN 3-406-50835-9
  • Runes, Magic and Religion: A Sourcebook (with John McKinnell und Klaus Düwel), Wien, Fassbaender, 2004 ISBN 978-3-900538-81-1
  • Mittelerde – Tolkien und die germanische Mythologie, München, C.H. Beck, 2005 ISBN 3-406-52837-6
  • Der Glaube der Germanen, Limburg und Kevelaer, Lahn-Verlag, 2005 ISBN 3-7867-8495-7
  • Die Germanen, Stuttgart, Reclam, 2006. ISBN 3-15-017051-6
  • Die Edda. C. H. Beck, München 2007, ISBN 978-3-406-56084-2 (C. H. Beck Wissen).
  • Ewige Orte. Reliquien und heiligen Stätten in Wien. Metro, Wien 2007, ISBN 978-3-902517-64-7.
  • Artus-Lexikon. Mythos und Geschichte, Werke und Personen der europäischen Artusdichtung. Reclam, Stuttgart 2012, ISBN 978-3-15-010858-1.
  • Die Schiffe der Wikinger. Reclam, Stuttgart 2014, ISBN 978-3-15-010999-1.
  • Monster im Mittelalter. Die phantastische Welt der Wundervölker und Fabelwesen. Böhlau, Köln, Weimar, Wien 2015. ISBN 978-3-412-21111-0.
  • Vinland! Wie die Wikinger Amerika entdeckten. C. H. Beck, München 2016, ISBN 978-3-406-69720-3.
  • Trolle. Ihre Geschichte von der Mythologie bis zum Internet. Böhlau, Köln/Weimar/Wien 2018, ISBN 978-3-412-50743-5.
  • Die Geschichte der Normannen. Von Wikingerhäuptlingen zu Königen Siziliens. Reclam, Ditzingen 2018, ISBN 978-3-15-011174-1.
  • Monster im Mittelalter. Köln und Wien: Böhlau 2019, ISBN 978-3412514037

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Prof. Dr. Rudolf Simek". University of Vienna. Retrieved 7 October 2020.

External links[edit]