Skjöldunga saga

The Skjöldunga saga was an Old Norse Legendary saga. Dating from c. 1180 – 1200, the saga was lost in its original form. The saga focused on the Danish dynasty of Scylding (Old Norse Skjöldung, plural Skjöldungar), the same semi-legendary dynasty featured in the Old English poem Beowulf. The fragmentary Icelandic text known as Sögubrot af nokkrum fornkonungum are believed to be based on the Skjöldunga saga, perhaps deriving from a late version of that work.[1]

Arngrímur Jónsson paraphrased parts of it into Latin, and parts of it are thought to be preserved in other sagas, including Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar en mesta and Ragnarssona þáttr. It may relate to Saxo Grammaticus and contain a version of the story that inspired the lost Ur-Hamlet and ultimately William Shakespeare's Hamlet.[2]


  1. For an edition of materials relating to the Skjöldunga saga, see Danakonunga sǫgur: Skjǫldunga saga, Knýtlinga saga, Ágrip af sǫgu danakonunga Islenzk fornrit XXXV ed. Bjarni Guðnason, Íslenzk Fornrit 35 (Reykjavík, 1982).
  2. For an English translation by Clarence H. Miller of Arngrímur Jónsson's paraphrase, with introduction and notes, see the journal AMQ, American Notes and Queries. Volume 20 20.3 (2007): 3-33.

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