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AN HISTORICAL ACCOUNT OF THE MANNERS, CUSTOMS, RELIGION AND LAWS, MARITIME EXPEDITIONS AND DISCOVERIES,
LANGUAGE AND LITERATURY
(DANES, SWEDES, NORWEGIANS AND ICELANDERS.)
WITH INCIDENTAL NOTICES RESPECTING OUR SAXON ANCESTORS.
TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH OF M. MALLET,
BY BISHOP PERCY.
REVISED THROUGHOUT, AND CONSIDERABLY ENLARGED; WITH A TRANSLATION OF THE PROSE EDDA FROM THE ORIGINAL OLD NORSE TEXT;
AND NOTES CRITICAL AND EXPLANATORY,
BY I. A. BLACKWELL, ESQ
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
AX ABSTRACT OF THE EYRBYGGJA SAGA,
By Sir Walter Scott.
LONDON: HENRY G. BOHN, YORK STREET, COVENT GARDEN.
THE EDITOR'S PREFACE.
BISHOP PERCY's Edition of M. Mallet's “ Northern Antiquities” having been published at a period when the most important documents bearing on the subject were but imperfectly known, the present Editor has necessarily been obliged to revise the work throughout, and omit such portions as were founded on views obviously erroneous, or on authorities which the historical researches of the present age have shown to be fallacious; while he has sought to render the whole more in arcordance with these researches, by insertions in the body of the text*, and notes critical and explanatory t. SuppleInentary chapters have also been added, in which, as well as in the remarks on the Prose Edda, several questions that have given rise to learned discussions and conflicting theories have been carefully investigated, and, perhaps, in some instances, placed under a novel point of view.
In the prosecution of his laborious task, the Editor has made it an invariable rule to test the statements even of writers who are generally regarded as authoritative on the subject, by referring to the Eddas, the Sagas, and the Grágás, from which almost all the information we possess respecting Scandinavia in the olden time bas been, either mediately or immediately, derived. In short, he has endeavoured, by unremitting attention and diligent research, to make this one of the most complete works on Northern Antiquities hitherto published. How far he may have succeeded will be for the reader to judge; who, he trusts, will bear in mind the quaint admonition “ of old Dan Geffry” that
“ For every word men may not chide or pleine
For in this world certain ne wight ther is
I. A. B. London, August 16th, 1847.
* Distinguished by being placed within brackets.
+ These notes, when they do not refer to his own text, are distinguished by the letters ED.