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Witton Middle School



History - The Vikings- Literature

This session looks at the literature of the Vikings. Looking at the background of writing in the Viking Age through the Icelandic Sagas, you will have the chance to write your own Viking poetry.


Step 1: The Information

Open and view the Viking Literature PowerPoint or PDF introducing the Icelandic Sagas, Skaldic Poetry and Egil Skallagrímsson.

Step 2: The Text

Open the document ‘Egil’s Voyage to England’ to read chapter 62 of Egil’s Saga, Egil’s Voyage to England or view the pages below. Although this has been translated into English, the very nature of writing at the time shows a different style than we are used to- try your best to follow the story. Also, don’t worry about pronouncing the names correctly, give it a good try though! Read it thoroughly as your quiz is based on events within the story.

Egil's Saga Chapter LXII

Step 3:The Quiz

In response to your reading of Egil’s Saga, you have a Kahoot! quiz to complete. This will check your understanding of the text.

You can find the quiz here:

Step 4 (Optional): The Poem

The chapter ends with Egil writing a poem to King Eric. When Arinbjorn checked to see how Egil was getting on with the poem, Egil said he had done nothing and he complained that a tweeting swallow kept him up all night!

In the end, Egil did finish the poem, ready to recite to King Eric the following day.

Your task, if you wish to do so, is to write your own poem for King Eric. It doesn’t have to be 20 stanzas, although it does need to address the same ideas as Egil in chapter 62. The purpose of the poem is to praise King Eric so make sure you are nice, otherwise, you will be at the mercy of the King’s axe!

The next chapter of Egil’s Saga contains all 20 stanzas of the poem, feel free to look at it for reference:

If you’re particularly proud of your poem, you are welcome to submit these to your teacher.