Sæmundur fróði (folklore)

Literary/ Cultural Context Essay

Eric Bryan (Missouri University of Science and Technology)
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While an important figure in Icelandic history and literature, Sæmundur


[the learned] Sigfússon (1056-1133) also became the subject of a robust folklore tradition in Iceland by the start of the eighteenth century. Sæmundur


had become by then the prototypical Icelandic


, or magician, who attained wisdom and magical prowess by studying at the Black School and then defeating the devil in a test of wits. Thus equipped with wisdom, magical prowess, and power over the devil himself, the Sæmundur of these folk tales goes about solving problems, overcoming evil creatures, thwarting the devil’s plans, and occasionally taking on pupils. The earliest of these stories were compiled by the renowned Icelandic scholar and manuscript collector Árni Magnússon…

1996 words

Citation: Bryan, Eric. "Sæmundur fróði (folklore)". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 October 2023 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=19673, accessed 23 June 2024.]

19673 Sæmundur fróði (folklore) 2 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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