Viking Iceland
cradle of democracy

About the Sagas
living literature

Vikings in America

Project background

Publication details



New Translation

Of the Sagas

THE COMPLETE SAGAS OF ICELANDERS from Leifur Eiriksson Publishing are the first English translation of the entire corpus of the Sagas of Icelanders together with the forty-nine Tales connected with them.

Thirty translators were carefully selected for the project, including leading international scholars and university teachers from seven countries who have studied and written on Nordic medieval literature and culture. All the translators are native English speakers and writers.

Careful editorial planning and coordination ensured that translators followed the same translation policy and produced the same high level of accuracy and readability. Coordination work included use of consistent English terms for key words and concepts, recurrent proverbs and phrases, and other cultural realia. Spelling conventions for personal and place names were normalised, as were translations of nicknames occurring in more than one Saga. Eleven Icelandic medieval specialists then carefully checked the translations against the original Icelandic texts to ensure accurate renderings and returned them to the translators for revision. A further revision stage concentrated on the English style, when fourteen native English-speaking scholars read through the translations before the translators gave them a final polish.

The publishers are confident that these extensive editorial efforts have produced sound, quality translations. While they reflect the expertise of scholars in this specialist field, a prime concern was to produce a text in smooth and readable modern English. There are probably few examples of comparable coordinated translations of an entire literary corpus into another language.

"All my literate life I have been looking for more English translations of the Sagas.

To have them all, in this superb five-volume edition, is a dream come true."
Ted Hughes
UK Poet Laureate

Vidar Hreinsson (General Editor)
Robert Cook
Terry Gunnell
Keneva Kunz
Bernard Scudder