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Ynglinga saga
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Ynglinga saga

The Ynglinga saga, also Ynglingatal or Ynglingesaga, was originally written in Old Norse by the Icelandic poet Snorri Sturlusson about 1225 CE. The Ynglinga saga is the first part of Snorri's history of the ancient Norse kings, the Heimskringla. It tells the most ancient part of the story of the House of Ynglings (the Scylfings of Beowulf). It was first translated into English and published in 1844.

In this, Snorri tells the story of how Odin and his people, the Asas, moved from their seat in the land Snorri calls "Great Swithiod" (compare "Greater Scythia") by the river Tanakvisl, "which is properly called by the name of Tanais," (the classical name for the river Don, ") north of the Black Sea, and how they travelled north to avoid the Romans, and he traces their feats and their lineage down to Halfdan the Black. Odin and the first generations of the Ynglings are recognizable as the Norse gods.

Identifying the places and peoples that are mentioned in the saga have caused much disagreement among scholars. One interpretation is as follows:

After establishing themselves first in Angeln or "Angelen" in Schleswig-Holstein, the Ynglings move to Fyn and Odense in Denmark, and finally to Svitjod where they settle at a place called Sithun (assumed to equal Sigtuna in Sweden or the Sitones who lived in Sweden according to Tacitus). The Angles were their direct progeny.

Though scholars and historians continue to debate the historical accuracy of Snorri's traditional tales, the "Heimskringla" as a whole is still considered an important original source for information on the Viking Age. Snorri himself prefaces his saga

"Some of this is found in ancient family registers, in which the pedigrees of kings and other personages of high birth are reckoned up, and part is written down after old songs and ballads which our forefathers had for their amusement. Now, although we cannot just say what truth there may be in these, yet we have the certainty that old and wise men held them to be true."

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