Tattúínárdǿla saga: If Star Wars Were an Icelandic Saga

A great article by Dr. Jackson Crawford about the Germanic/Icelandic inspiration for the Star Wars Saga.

Tattúínárdǿla saga

A long time ago, in a North Atlantic far far away…

Introduction

Earlier this week I was drawn into an enlightening discussion with my colleague Ben Frey about the complicated textual tradition that lies behind George Lucas’s “Star Wars,” which few outside the scholarly community realize is a modern rendition of an old Germanic legend of a fatal conflict between a father and his treacherous son. Below I present some remarks on the Old Icelandic version of the legend, with some spare comparative notes on the cognate traditions in other old Germanic languages.

The story as presented in George Lucas’s films represents only one manuscript tradition, and a rather late and corrupt one at that – the Middle High German epic called Himelgengærelied (Song of the Skywalkers). There is also an Old High German palimpsest known to scholars, later overwritten by a Latin choral and only partly legible to us…

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Update on ‘The Indo-European Languages’

Much of the content on this website revolves around the Proto-Indo-Europeans and their descendant peoples, the Indo-Europeans. A couple of months ago I made it a priority to write a few introductionary articles on the Proto-Indo-Europeans themselves, their mythology and their languages, to make the topic more accessible and understandable to a wider audience. Now, … Continue reading Update on ‘The Indo-European Languages’

History through Poems: Examining Beowulf

A great article on a classic of Old English Literature by Kristyn J. Miller.

Kristyn J. Miller

Epic poems have incredible staying power both as literary achievements and as historical resources. The Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf is one of the foremost examples of this. Despite its mythological themes, the story offers historians a rare insight into Anglo-Saxon ideals of masculinity, heroism, and society. At the same time, it presents literary scholars with a wellspring of opportunities to analyze symbolism and metaphor, as well as a look at the progression of our literary language.

Within the literary sphere, modern Beowulf criticism finds its origins in J.R.R. Tolkien. In his 1936 lecture at Oxford University, later transcribed as an essay, Tolkien argued:

I have read enough, I think, to venture the opinion that Beowulfiana is, while rich in many departments, specially poor in one. It is poor in criticism, criticism that is directed to the understanding of a poem as a poem.

The essay goes on to reaffirm the value…

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Update: Subsistence Work of Hunter-Gatherers and New Project

As it has been a while since I announced the article about Subsistence Work in Hunter-Gatherer societies I thought that it's time for a general update. Unfortunately this project wasn't approved by my University and thus it had to be postponed indefinitely. I am still planning on writing and publishing at least a short article … Continue reading Update: Subsistence Work of Hunter-Gatherers and New Project

The Proto-Indo-European Myth Of Creation

All societies have their own, unique story of creation, some of which we may be more familiar with than others. The ancient Greeks believed that in the beginning there was Chaos, the Norse that there was Ginnungagap, 'the big gap' of nothingness between the forces of fire and ice. But what if these myths, together with a few others across the Eurasian continent, had a common, Proto-Indo-European origin?