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Other titles in the Medieval Academy Reprints for Teaching series:
Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandicby Geir T. Zoega
Synopses & Reviews
The Scandinavian influence was the earliest, and arguably one of the strongest external forces that went into the making of modern English. Consequently, a knowledge of the Icelandic language is of utmost importance. Not only does Icelandic supply a linguistic basis for such a study, it also provides the source of a great deal of the necessary information for the understanding of medieval British history. Old Icelandic Iiterature, both in poetry and prose, presents a wealth of interesting material, which in some respects stands unrivalled among the literatures of medieval Europe, and without which, one's knowledge of the ancient North would certainly be limited. First published in England in 1910 and last printed in 1975, Geir T. Zoega's A Concise Dictionary of Old Icelandic has long been the foremost reference source for the Icelandic language. Compiled on the general principle of including all the words the ordinary student of Icelandic is likely to meet, the dictionary has helped to bring about a wider interest in the language and literature of Iceland and is considered an essential complement to the study of medieval Nordic literature.
Book News Annotation:
From the standard, ponderous Icelandic/English dictionary of his time, Zo<:e>ga (1857-1928) abstracted those words of Old Icelandic that scholars of the medieval prose writings would be likely to run into and not recognize from any knowledge they might have of modern Icelandic. He has left out the purely poetic vocabulary—excepting the Edda poems, of course—and a number of compounds occurring only in legal, theological, or technical works; such borders blur however, he admits, and has included rather than excluded the questionable when possible. More often than not, he quotes a passage showing the usage. He dates the preface 1910; otherwise, no information is provided about the original publication.
Annotation ©2004 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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