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The fragmentary medieval chronicle, Historia Norwegie, is the oldest piece of historical writing from Norway, and probably our first specimen of Norwegian literature. It was composed in Latin in the second half of the twelfth century, perhaps in the Oslo area. Only the beginning of the work exists today, but it offers, among other things, a detailed report of a shamanic séance among the Sami as well as a unique early geographical description of Norway and the North Sea realm. Furthermore, we are presented with an early version of the Norwegian kings' genealogy, beginning with the mythical Yngling kings and ending, abruptly, with Olav Haraldsson's claim to the throne in 1015.
This is the first critical edition of the Latin text since 1880, accompanied by a modern English translation by Peter Fisher. The introduction and full commentary in English take stock of previous scholarships and are new contributions to the interpretation of the text.