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  • Author: Tatjana N. Jackson x
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“Some call Europe, and some call Eneá”: on the origins of the Old Icelandic learned prehistory

Abstract

By the 12th century, northern territories were fairly well known in practice, but there was an urgent need to explain the state of this region in written form. In most national narratives, there is an evident tendency to emphasise the similarity of local history with a more significant and more authoritative (Roman or sacred) history (Mortensen 2005). This paper deals with a very specific geographical image—“Europe, or Eneá”—that appears on two “textual maps” by an Icelandic historian of the 13th century, Snorri Sturluson, in his Edda, an Icelandic ars poetica (c. 1220), and in his large compendium of the kings’ sagas entitled Heimskringla (c. 1230). The author demonstrates that the toponym Eneá, going back to the ancient hero Aeneas, was formed by Snorri himself as a result of his immersion in the local Icelandic culture and literature, where the Troy story had, by that time, occupied a significant place.

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