Monday, June 30, 2008

Mythic Origins

Jonathan Jarrett in his response to my 1000 Medieval Books post mentioned the stories of origins, how a people came to be. I thought it might be a useful exercise to collect those in a single post, eventually expanded to include best editions and translations of each text or online locales. This list admittedly uses short hand author names for a particular work that at the moment I'm too lazy to expand.

So my preliminary list off the top of my head is:

Bede's Ecclesiastical History
Jordanes Getica
Isidore Gotorum
Gregory of Tours History of the Franks
Planctus for William Longsword
Laymon's The Brut
Snorri Sturlson Prose Edda
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

So what am I missing?


Brandon H. said...

A few more works to consider:
Depending on where you begin or how you classify "origins," Gildas' On the Ruin and Conquest of Britain could be included.
Geoffrey of Monmouth's History of the Kings of Britain; there is, however, the complication of Gildas, Bede, and Geoffrey blending together because of the use of compounding sources as each writes.
Snorri Sturluson's (if you're willing to include more than one by each author) Heimskringla: History of the Kings of Norway.
The Icelandic Landnamabok (by various authors/anonymous).

The Quran could technically also fit into this medieval category of origins, too--with its narrative of beginnings as well as individual beginnings of things. On the same the note, the Hadith could be included, as it relates the "origin" of Islam and Muslim peoples.

Matthew Gabriele said...

I'm not trying to be a pain but couldn't almost anything be a story of "origins"? For example, the Oxford Chanson de Roland tells of the "origin" of a monarchy and a nobility, as well as the foundation of Christendom and Francia.

Anonymous said...

Paul the Deacon's Historia Langobardorum; the Russian Primary Chronicle maybe? There must be more...