Jesse Byock is Professor of Old Norse and Medieval Scandinavian Studies in the Scandinavian Section at UCLA (the University of California, Los Angeles). He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University. An archaeologist and specialist in Old Norse and the Viking Age, he is Professor at UCLA's Cotsen Institute of Archaeology. In Iceland, he is the Director of the Mosfell Archaeological Project (MAP), excavating a Viking Age valley. The Mosfell excavations include a chieftain's hall, Christian and pagan burial sites, a conversion-age church, and a harbor from the first centuries of Iceland's Viking Age settlement. Prof. Byock also teaches at the University of Iceland (Haskoli Islands), where he is affiliated with the Department of History and the Programs in Medieval Icelandic and Viking Studies. www.oldnorse.org and www.vikinglanguage.com
Jesse Byock's Viking Language Series consists of two printed volumes. The first, "Viking Language 1: Learn Old Norse," leads you into the language. The second, "Viking Language 2: The Old Norse Reader", has longer selections up to the entire saga of "Hrafnkel Priest of Frey". Two download audio albums found on iTunes and Amazon Music accompany... These are all anyone needs for a thorough knowledge of Old Norse and runes, with the considerable bonus of acquiring a natural modern native-speaker pronunciation. Byock's course is a delight on every level. It will surely far increase Old Norse students and satisfy a widely felt demand. It is the biggest reinforcement to philological studies, combining language and literature, since Tolkien. Both Tolkien and his friend Gordon would be delighted to see it, hear it and use it... If only such a work had existed, when this reviewer was struggling. Modern students have every reason to be grateful. Prof. Tom Shippey, author of The Road to Middle Earth and Beowulf, the Critical Heritage.Teaching Old Norse with Viking Language 1 and 2 by Jesse Byock is a real joy, and students love them. Impressive in breadth and depth. The reference grammar will be thoroughly worn out by all readers. A masterful work. I cant praise it enough. Prof. Robert Bjork, Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance StudiesAn absolutely wonderful book! Definitely not a traditional language-learning book. I bought it and so glad I did. I've always wanted to learn Old Norse. Well, this Series is the answer, providing best of both worlds. I get to learn Old Norse, so that I can read my beloved sagas in their original language, and I get to learn modern Icelandic at the same time! But the proof is in the pudding: In less than a week I've been able to read and understand some text from sagas, and I have a good understanding of Old Norse-Icelandic grammar and syntax. Musica NovaAt long last, we have a respectable modern textbook for Old Norse. All previous resources were either out of print and prohibitively expensive used, or reprints of archaic grammars with outdated instruction methods. As an experienced language learner, I see everything here that I look for in a textbook. It reminds me a great deal of Wheelock's renowned textbook for Latin in both its structure and teaching strategies. For those not in the know, that is a very good thing... Pickings are slim for Old Norse and such a giant leap forward in the field, by one of the world's most respected translators of Old Norse literature no less, deserves all the approbation it can get. Ian McLeodThe best resource on Old Norse I've found. Byock is great at incorporating history into the language which helps give a better understanding of all the 'why's you might ask as you're learning how to use the language. He is excellent at introducing vocab and each new subject at the right time and the exercises throughout the book (translating saga's etc) make you feel like you're making progress at all times. Easily worth the money if you're serious about learning Old Norse. Brady PaladichukonUsed for a Masters course. An excellent book to start learning Old Norse straight away. The exercises are invaluable to test yourself and consolidate your learning as you progress through the book. There are even resources available online (oldnorse.org and vikingnorse.com) to supplement your learning. Great book that I would highly recommend. ThorchildProf. Byock makes the language come alive. He uses original texts right from the beginning and puts them into their cultural context with historical explanations. Necessary grammar is introduced gradually and always explained in a way that elucidates rather than confuses.