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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Old Norse Mythology in the Sources by University of Colorado Boulder

289 ratings

About the Course

This course is an introduction to the religion of the Vikings as it is recorded in Old Norse and Scandinavian literature from the medieval period. You will learn about the different written sources and what they can teach us about pre-Christian religion in northern Europe in the Viking Age. The course surveys the primary collection of Old Norse poetry about the pre-Christian Scandinavian gods, the Poetic Edda. We will also work with the main collections of stories about the Old Norse gods in prose: Snorri Sturluson's Edda and Saxo's History of the Danes....

Top reviews


Mar 6, 2023

Great introduction to Norse Mythology and the intricacies and history woven into them. Much more than just memorizing names of gods and their special characteristics. Would love a follow up class.


Feb 16, 2023

t A very interesting course. I began with some minor knowledge of the subject and now feel much better informed. It has given me much food for thought and ideas for further research.

Thank you!

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1 - 25 of 98 Reviews for Old Norse Mythology in the Sources

By Rafael M

Feb 1, 2022

I didn't like this course. I stopped after the first module (first week) because I checked and the rest of the course follows the same structure. The videos are monotonous and the instructor could be easily subtituted by a list of bullet points. He rarely makes any observations and the tests are atrocious quizzes wanting people to remember specific dates from an infinity of dates provided. After teh first week, I felt that I didn't teh information I had hoped to learn. The quality of this course is really poor and I don't hink this is a good introduction to the topic. A suggestion is for the videos to be a little more dynamic and interactive. Another thing that could be different is teh presence of the instructor in some of the videos. Finally, I would like to suggest you don;t foucs the quizzes into a bunch of dates only scholars would know by heart.

By Ramon v O

Feb 24, 2022

While the topic is highly interesting, and the teacher clearly knows his stuff. The course itself is hardly interactive, and only a powerpoint presentation with a voice reading the exact text of the slides. I stopped the course.

By Bert v d B

Jan 26, 2023

Roughly a summary of dates and names, almost exclusivy from (and around) the poetric Edda. Lectured (read aloud) without any enthusiasm or inspiration. The test is, i.m.o. again a dry questionnaire on dates and names. Made me quit Coursera altogether. Maybe my expectations were too positive after the lively art courses provided by MoMA.

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ( — Benjamin Franklin). This course did not go beyond the first one for me.

By Carole M

Sep 12, 2022

The content was interesting but too much was covered, in a dull way, reading from slides and listing items in manuscripts. This was very boring, sadly. Montonous delievry killed the topic, I'm afraid.

The final esssay task is impossible as it is not possible to search our submission fom week one, to find what our bullet pints were.

By Justin H

Nov 24, 2021

Great introduction to this material and subject. Did not want to stop watching the videos. very easy to watch. Lots of information given. hope there will be a continuation of this course.

By Nancy H

Sep 20, 2022

Very enjoyable. I learned a lot. I appreciate the quizzes, which enabled me to consolidate the material so that I can remember it (after multiple attempts, which was very useful).

By Steven S

Nov 30, 2021

Dr. Nordvig presents interesting information. It is not just the dates and places, it is the who and the why. I took everything I thought I knew, and flipped it on its head. I am glad I took the class and look forward to further classes presented by Dr. Nordvig.

By Tomasz G

Apr 7, 2022

Excellent course. I have listened to the "Nordic mythology podcast" in the past, but I needed something more structured and beginner-friendly. This course is just that. Thank you!

By Diane F

Jul 31, 2022

Very interesting and well done. My only negative is that I would like to have 2 chances on the quizzzes before having to wait 24 hours.

By Guillermo t I

Sep 20, 2022

My in-depth review here:

By Paul G

Dec 2, 2021

Useful intro with good course content, spoilt by errors in test questions and lack of responce from coursera to reported issues.

By Keryn K

Jan 24, 2022

1. Discussion I didnt seem to get into any discussions in this course - perhaps you could give people 5 marks for posting comments or references? eg I would like to have joined a discussion about norse myths in contemporary culture. And Im sure others could have helped me understand things like kennings

2. More readings I got a lot more from the course when I started to read around the topics of Norse Myth - learnt more (independently) about poetry, runes, trade, archaeology, agriculture, Tacitus, climate change in Scandanavian pre christian times. I would have got more from the course if readings had been provided even if not assessed. For example I was fascinated to read about Snorri as a person and the medieval nobles who must have commissioned collections of myth and would have liked to see a video on his life and times.

3. I feel I know a great deal more about the prechristian themes and stories in poetry collected in medieval times - that go towards making up what we now think of as norse mythology. What I really want to know is how did people who believed in these gods and heroes live their lives on a day to day basis.

By leslie l

Oct 19, 2022

Lectures but no bibliograpy. No reading list no info on outside sources. The corse has no maintenence sine problems are on going as indicated by discussion. Problems reported a year ago 10/22 still not corrected.

By Thomas W

Mar 7, 2022

I really do want to offer my thanks to Dr. Nordvig for offering such an in-depth course for free, and greatly admire his philosophy behind doing so. I was trying to prepare for a Masters degree in Medieval Studies, and already had some experience with medieval Icelandic sagas, but this course hugely informed me about Eddic poetry and Old Norse mythology as an academic study.

From this course I have learned, amongst many other subjects, about gods, monsters, and heroes; about the structure of pre-Christian Scandinavian society and religious groups, and the consequent influence of Christianity on medieval authors; finally about the concept of euhemerism, which was both new and intriguing for me.

For anyone considering taking this course, whether for academic purposes or simply to learn more about a mythology that has permeated Western culture for centuries, I cannot recommend it enough. Dr. Nordvig is clearly an expert in his field, though his presentations are easy to follow and to understand, and I encourage anyone who finishes the course to read his own publications and to read more into the subject matter.


By Elizabeth G

Jan 29, 2022

This course gives a brief but fairly comprehensive introduction to Old Norse Mythology as found in the early sources, around the 12th to 14th centuries. The lectures are concise and interesting. The instructor has chosen the topics well and also has done a good job condensing the stories for students. I wish there was more explanation about Skaldic and Eddic poetry (meter, rhyme, structure??) but maybe that is best left to another course.

By Anna K

Sep 11, 2023

The course walks you through the literature sourses of Old Norse Muthology, while explaining religious and cultural concepts of pre-Christian Scandinavian world and the Christian Paradigm that affected how the Myths were written down. No deep pre-existing knowledge of Scandinavian History, Geography or Mythology was required - Dr Mathias Nordvig manages to teach you a lot of that during the course.

By Irene Z

Nov 20, 2022

The course was well researched and presented by Dr. Mathias Nordvig. I found it easily digestible as it was in 2-4 minute video submissions which were easy to understand and process. For me, the history of the Nordic region, the languages and myths was very interesting. Thank you for a solid understanding of Old Nordic Mythology.

By Carolina R

Nov 4, 2022

El material es conciso y fácil de comprender. Además está la opción de obtener los apuntes.

Las evaluaciones son justamente de comprensión lectora, es decir, hay que leer y estudiar los apuntes para realizar las tareas.

Me gustó bastante y creo que usaré parte de esta información para mi tesis en Literatura.

By Roxane K

Apr 24, 2024

A very comprehensive introduction to Old Norse Mythology in the Sources. I hope there will be a follow-up course to dive deeper into some of the protagonists and some of the stories that could not be developed here (ex: Loki ; how the walls of Asgard were built; etc.) Thank you Mr Nordvig 😊

By Viking G R

Dec 4, 2021

Good Introduction to Norse Mythology, definitely learned some interesting details especially regarding historical evidence of runic inscriptions, age of written records and how written compositions were influenced by the author and the dominant religious dogma of the time.

By Wendy F

Mar 28, 2023

I enjoyed the course but did find the names and spellings very hard. Needed to make copious notes to try and understand everything. I am though very glad i took this course as it helps me to understand different things when i go to Scandinavia on holiday end of July.

By Linda B

Mar 8, 2022

Through this course I was able to become acquainted with the foundations of Old Norse Mythology-- the terminologies, important texts, important dates, and the historical contexts. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get a quick intensive on this subject.

By Muhammad A

Oct 1, 2022

It is not an easy course since there are many new Norse words with difficult pronunciations but it is very enjoyable and highly rewarding. A fuller transcript of the spoken lectures would be of some help for revision and revisiting the course in the future

By Rheged-armer T

Jan 31, 2022

A really good overview for anyone wanting to have an objective academic approach to Old Norse Mythology. It would be a real help to all those discovering Norse mythology so that they could be objective and not take things out of context.

By Mary S

Dec 13, 2023

The course provides an excellent overview of Old Norse Mythology. I gained a comprehensive understanding of the source material, their origins (or what is known of their origins), and can now easily navigate further learning on my own.