Old Norse Mythology

Undergraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content

The aim of this course is to give the students a basic introduction to Old Norse mythology and cults, by studying key works of the Old Norse prose.

Learning Outcomes


After successfully completing this course, students will have:

- Basic knowledge of older Old Norse mythology and cults.

- Basic knowledge of the mythology in Snorre-Edda

- A clear understanding of the mythological content in a selection of Edda poems.


- The ability to comment on and analyse a selection of translated Edda poems and Snorre-Edda in translation.

- The ability to place the texts in a religious and historical context

General Competence

- The ability to understand mythological structures in general

- Basic knowledge of scientific methods in the study of religion.

Level of Study


Semester of Instruction


Place of Instruction

Required Previous Knowledge
Recommended Previous Knowledge
None. The basic texts will be read in translation.
Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap
NOFI106 overlaps completely with parts of the previously taught course NOFI105, so that a combination of NOFI106 and NOFI105 cannot give more than a total of 15 credits (of these, 5 credits for NOFI106 and 10 credits for NOFI105).
Access to the Course
The course is open to all students with the right to study at UiB.
Teaching and learning methods


If less than five students are registered to a course, the department might reduce the teaching, please see the department's guidelines regarding this on "My page". Regarding a course where this is a possibility the students get information about this at the beginning of the semester, and before the deadline regarding semester registration 1st February/1st September.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

1) Obligatory attendance at least 75% of the scheduled lectures.

2) If the student, in consultation with the lecturer, sets up an alternative syllabus to the standard one, the student must hand in and have the syllabus list approved within the advertised deadline.

The compulsory requirements are valid for the given semester.

Forms of Assessment

Written examination of four hours.

It is permitted to write in Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, English or German.

Grading Scale
Grade scale A-F.
Reading List


A. Primary Texts

1. Ten Eddic poems in translation.

2. From The Younger Edda (Snorre-Edda): Gylvaginning and Skaldskaparmål

B. Secondary Texts

1. A broad introduction to Old Norse religion, e.g. Gro Steinsland, Norrøn religion. Myter, riter, samfunn, Oslo: Pax (2005) pp. 11-392.

2. A selection of articles and chapters that comment on the primary texts of the syllabus. Approx. 100 pages.

The department will announce the complete syllabus. There is the opportunity to change parts of the literature on the syllabus in consultation with the lecturer. In this case, the candidate must contact the course lecturer as soon as possible, and hand in and have the syllabus list approved within the advertised deadline.

Course Evaluation
Evaluation will be conducted in accordance with the University of Bergen's quality assurance system.