Epic Continent

Adventures in the Great Stories that Made Europe

By:  Nicholas Jubber

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ISBN: 978-1-4736-6572-9


352 Pages


Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeys across Europe exploring Europe's epic poems, from The Odyssey to Beowulf, The Song of Roland to The Nibelungenlied, and their impact on European identity in these turbulent times.

Reaching back to the era remembered as 'the Age of Migration', Jubber explores how attitudes to population movement, borders, kin relations, sex, class, and political structures are dramatized in the ancient and medieval epics. From Homer's The Odyssey, through the devastating conflict of The French Song of Roland and the German Nibelungenlied, to the great Viking sagas such as Beowulf and the Icelandic Njal's Saga, these are timeless tales about human nature; but also windows into other societies, with different emphases on matters of honor, kinship, fundamentalism, and fate.

Both a thrilling look at the stories sung by medieval bards and minstrels and a journey across a continent struggling with its identity, A Continent of Epics examines how the great heroes dealt with their manifold challenges and explores how their influence has resonated down the ages to impact on what it means to be 'European' today.

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Steve Robbins