The Viking Society

Welcome to the website of the Viking Society for Northern Research, the world’s foremost learned society in the field of medieval Scandinavian and Northern studies.

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Forthcoming meetings

Next meeting:

The Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 6th June 2015 at the Lindisfarne Centre, St Aidan’s College, Durham University. The speaker will be Dr David Varley, who will speak on ‘Thor: dólgr ok bani trollkvinna “enemy and killer of troll-wives”. A Reconsideration’. The meeting will be at 3.45, with tea served at 3.15. The address is

St Aidan’s College

Durham University

Windmill Hill

Durham DH1 3LJ

Autumn meeting:

The speaker at the Autumn 2015 meeting will be Professor Vésteinn Ólason.


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Peter Foote Memorial Bursary

The Viking Society awards an annual bursary in honour of Professor Peter Foote, who died in 2009. Having in mind his conviction that young scholars should spend as much time as possible experiencing at first hand the culture of Scandinavia (including Iceland, Greenland and the Faroes), his family made a generous donation to the Society to fund an annual bursary for a postgraduate student to spend time studying or researching in Scandinavia. This sum was supplemented by the proceeds of an auction, run by the Viking Society, which distributed Peter’s magnificent library to appreciative scholars and readers. The first bursary, worth £900, was awarded for 2013-14.

The Peter Foote Memorial Bursary

The Peter Foote Memorial Bursary honours the commitment of the late Peter Foote to scholarship, and particularly his belief that scholarship within the field of Scandinavian studies is enhanced by the opportunity to spend time studying in Scandinavia itself. The Bursary, generously funded by donations in memory of Peter Foote and a donation from the Foote family, is awarded to assist with travel to and from and / or subsistence while in Scandinavia (including Faroe, Finland, Greenland, and Iceland), in order to undertake study or research, for a period of not less than one week and not more than one year. It will not be awarded for the purposes of participation in a conference or training programme.

Applicants must be postgraduate students at a higher education institution in Britain and Ireland, whose postgraduate studies are in any field of Scandinavian studies from the Viking period to the end of the Middle Ages. They should also normally be members of the Viking Society. The Bursary for 2014-15 will be to the value of £1000.00.

In the case of more than one application, the Bursary will go to the project which, in the Research Committee’s view, promises the greatest benefit as a contribution to scholarship and / or to the personal scholarly development of the applicant. Preference will normally be given to applicants registered for a PhD in a British university. Preference may also be shown to the applicant whose financial need is greatest.

A final report will be required from the Bursary holder, together with an account of expenditure with appropriate receipts. The report and account should be sent to the Hon. Secretary of the Viking Society (Dr Matthew Townend, Centre for Medieval Studies, The King’s Manor, York YO1 7EP) within three months of the end of the project for which the Bursary was awarded. The report will be placed on the Society’s website, and the award holder will also be invited to a meeting of the Viking Society to make a brief presentation about their research.

Applications, using the form available on the Research Support page of the Viking Society website, should be sent by e-mail to The deadline for applications for the 2014-15 award is 31st May 2014. Late applications will only be considered under exceptional extenuating circumstances.

Please see the Support Fund page for application form.

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Book Auction 2013


The catalogue for the Viking Society’s 2013 auction of second-hand books has now been posted on our Book Auction page. Many books on offer are those remaining from former auctions of the library of Professor Peter Foote, but there are others from various sources, including a generous donation from the family of the Icelandic scholar Lúðvík Ingvarsson. Bids are not restricted to members of the Society, and libraries and other institutions are welcome to bid. As there is material from fields beyond the Society’s immediate sphere of interest — general medieval studies, Old English, Latin, modern Scandinavian studies — we would be grateful if members could spread word of the auction to individuals or institutions who may be interested.
As usual, there will be a single round of bidding. Bidders should submit their bids to by 21st December 2013. Books will normally be sold to the highest bidder. Where more than one bidder has submitted the same highest bid, the bid received earliest will be accepted.
Buyers will also have to pay postage/carriage costs unless they are able to collect from Gordon Square at a time to be arranged.

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New Publication



Edited by Margaret Clunies Ross and Jonas Wellendorf

lxiv +191 pp.

ISBN 978-0-903521-90-1. £12 (£6 for Viking Society members)

The anonymous poetical treatise, The Fourth Grammatical Treatise, one of four learned Icelandic works preserved in the fourteenth-century Codex Wormianus, is edited here by two scholars who combine expertise in the medieval Latin grammatical rhetorical tradition which it follows with knowledge of the vernacular tradition of skaldic poetry, which the author used to illustrate his text. Jonas Wellendorf has been responsible for placing the work in its Latin context, editing and translating the prose text and providing commentary on it, while Margaret Clunies Ross has edited, translated and provided commentary on the poetic examples. The Icelandic text is presented here alongside a facing-page translation into English, with extensive commentary and a full introduction by both editors.

Please order from Gazelle Book Services Limited, High Town, Lancaster, LA1 4XS;

email: Viking Society members can claim members’ reduced price from Gazelle. Copies will also be on sale at Viking Society meetings.

Snorri Sturluson: Heimskringla

II. Óláfr Haraldsson (The Saint)

 Translated by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes

This second part in the three-volume translation of Heimskringla includes the life of Óláfr Haraldsson, king of Norway from 1015 until his fall in the battle of Stiklarstaðir in 1030, and the subsequent beginnings of the cult that established him as patron saint of the Northern lands. Following the practice of the Íslenzk fornrit edition on which the translation is based, it also includes passages from Snorri’s earlier version of the king’s life, the so-called Separate Saga of St Óláfr, where these are not reproduced in the Heimskringla version. Comparison of these passages with the Heimskringla version gives an insight into Snorri’s working practices, showing how the Separate saga was adapted for inclusion in the compendium. The Prologue to the Separate saga, believed to be a later reworking of the Prologue to Heimskringla, is also included. As in Volume I, the Introduction is by Alison Finlay, who also translated the verses. The prose has been translated by Anthony Faulkes.

2014. ISBN 978-0-903521-89-5. xvii + 339 pp. 215 x 137 mm. Price £12 (£6 for members of the Society)

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Recent Publications: The Uppsala Edda, Heimskringla

Among the Society’s recent publications is an edition of The Uppsala Edda by Heimir Pálsson, which appeared in 2012. This is based on the fourteenth-century version of Snorri Sturluson’s Edda found in the manuscript DG 11 4to, which differs considerably from the Codex Regius text edited by Anthony Faulkes, also published by the Society.

Snorri-Sturluson. Heimskringla I. The Beginnings to Óláfr Tryggvason: In 2011 the Society published the first part of a three-volume translation of Snorri Sturluson’s Heimskringla by Alison Finlay and Anthony Faulkes.

Volume II will be published in Autumn 2013.

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New Support Fund Application Procedures

The Society’s Support Fund, which helps members with research and travel costs, continues to welcome applications. The procedures for applying have changed slightly, however. Please see the Support Fund page for details.

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New Subscription Rates

Members and prospective members are reminded that subscriptions, which are due for renewal on 1 October, have risen slightly in price: Ordinary membership now costs £25.00 and Student Membership is £10.00 per annum. This change applies to new subscriptions as well as renewals. See the membership page for information about how to join or renew your subscription.

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