1179 to 1241 

Icelandic poet, historian, the best-known writer of the saga, author of the PROSE EDDA, which was written as a textbook for young poets who wished to praise kings, and HEIMSKRINGLA, a history of the kings of Norway, the most important prose collection in Old Norse literature. Snorri expanded one of its sections into a separate OLAF'S SAGA. Like most sagas, EGIL'S SAGA is anonymous but it is thought to have been written by Snorri Sturluson in about 1230. Its greatest poem is 'Lament for My Sons' in which Egil honors his dead sons in verse.

The rough storm has robbed me 
Of my best riches, 
It's cruel to recall 
The loss of that kinsman, 
The safeguard, the shield 
Of the house has sailed 
Out in the death's darkness 
To a dearer place. 

(from Egil's Saga)

Snorri Sturluson, who belonged to the powerful Sturlunga family, was a descendant of the poet and hero from Egil's Saga, Egill Skallgrímsson. He grew up in the home of the most influential chieftain of Iceland, Jón Loptsson, and acquired a deep knowledge of Icelandic tradition and history. His father died in 1197. Two years later Snorri married Herdis, who came from a wealthy family. In the following years Snorri devoted himself to enlarging his estate, eventually gaining the position of one of the richest men in the country.

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