Early translations of Homer into Icelandic (1820‒1855)

  • Janez Orešnik University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts
Keywords: Homer, Icelandic, alliterative verse, Janez Orešnik


Before the translation of Homer into Icelandic had begun, the alliterative verse, this only vehicle of Icelandic domestic and translated poetry, precluded the option of using any hexametres, not even Homer’s. The solution adopted for Homer was to recast his two epic poems in prose and, after a reconsideration, in alliterative verse as well. The responsible task was undertaken by Sveinbjörn Egilsson, then the rector of the only secondary school on Iceland. He prepared the prose versions of both epic poems, and began to translate the Iliad into verse; however, he died before concluding his work. As the next translator of Homer, the rector’s youngest son Gröndal completed his father‘s verse Iliad as well as recast, in verse, the complete Odyssey.


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How to Cite
Orešnik, Janez. 2020. “Early Translations of Homer into Icelandic (1820‒1855)”. Keria: Studia Latina Et Graeca 21 (2), 163-67. https://doi.org/10.4312/keria.21.2.163-167.