SNORRI STURLUSON 1179-1241 A lead-ing figure in Norse literature, Snorri Sturluson was ice-land's most distinguished author. He was the author of the prose edda, of Heimskringla a history of Norwe-gian kings, and of Hattatal a poem in praise of King Haakon and Duke Skuli of norway, plus various sagas. One of Iceland's greatest chieftains, Snorri came from the powerful Sturlung dynasty. He was educated at Iceland's foremost cultural center, Oddi, where he received strong training in law, history, poetry, and the telling of sagas. He became renowned as a lawyer and a skald, or poet. Politically ambitious, Snorri was wel-comed at all the Scandinavian courts. He acquired great wealth and power but was involved in numerous disputes and battles. He was finally slain in a political coup at the command of the king of Norway.It would be difficult to exaggerate the impor-tance of the Prose Edda, sometimes called the Younger Edda or the Snorra Edda. It gives the only complete picture of Norse mythology dating from the Middle Ages. The Prose Edda had great influence on medieval Icelandic literature and helped to preserve the ancient skaldic tradition.
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