Snorri Sturluson is a politician, poet and historian in Iceland. He’s worried that his nation is beginning to forget their ancient myths and Viking heroes.
Sturluson doesn’t actually believe in the Norse gods Odin, Thor and Frey. He believes these mythological gods began as human war leaders whose lavish funeral sites inspired the development of myth and legend. “Ancient warriors called upon these dead war leaders as they went into battle,” Sturluson tells us, “so they soon came to be remembered only as gods.”
Sturluson’s fear of a lost Icelandic heritage inspired him to write:
Gylfaginning (“the fooling of Gylfi”), a narrative of Norse mythology,
Heimskringla, a history of the Norwegian kings,
The Skáldskaparmál, a book of poetic language,
The Háttatal, a list of all the Nordic forms of verse.
Snorri Sturluson died in 1241.
I wonder if he will be remembered.