13 Best Ancient, Classical & Medieval Poetry

List Updated July 2020

Bestselling Ancient, Classical & Medieval Poetry in 2020


The Odyssey

The Odyssey
BESTSELLER NO. 1 in 2020
  • The great epic of Western literature, translated by the acclaimed classicist Robert Fagles

The Inferno (Signet Classics)

The Inferno (Signet Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 2 in 2020

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)

Beowulf: A New Verse Translation (Bilingual Edition)
BESTSELLER NO. 3 in 2020
  • BILINGUAL EDITION--OLD ENGLISH (ANGLO-SAXON) AND ENGLISH TRANSLATION

The Canterbury Tales

The Canterbury Tales
BESTSELLER NO. 4 in 2020
  • Penguin Books

Odyssey

Odyssey
BESTSELLER NO. 5 in 2020
  • HACKETT

Beowulf (Signet Classics)

Beowulf (Signet Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 6 in 2020

CliffsNotes on Homer's The Odyssey (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)

CliffsNotes on Homer's The Odyssey (Cliffsnotes Literature Guides)
BESTSELLER NO. 7 in 2020

The Sagas of Icelanders: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

The Sagas of Icelanders: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
BESTSELLER NO. 8 in 2020

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (A New Verse Translation)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (A New Verse Translation)
BESTSELLER NO. 9 in 2020
  • W W Norton Company

The Poetic Edda (Oxford World's Classics)

The Poetic Edda (Oxford World's Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 10 in 2020
  • Oxford University Press, USA

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Signet Classics)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Signet Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 11 in 2020

The Poetic Edda

The Poetic Edda
BESTSELLER NO. 12 in 2020
  • University of Texas Press

Poetics (Penguin Classics)

Poetics (Penguin Classics)
BESTSELLER NO. 13 in 2020
  • Penguin Books

Helsingor and the Kronborg Castle: A Medieval Town North of Copenhagen

Helsingor is an attractive Danish town located north of Copenhagen on body of water, Oresund, that separates Denmark from Sweden.

To make things even more interesting, there is a ferry line that still runs between this Danish city and its Swedish counterpart, which is referred to as Helsingborg. Evident by the large number of Swedish tourists, who venture over from Sweden, Helsingor must have a lot to offer the Scandinavian visitors.

Helsingor's biggest attraction is an impressive castle that guards the water passage that separates the two countries. The Kronborg Castle is a large stone structure with a series of green spires that rise high above the castle walls. This impressive fortress was built to watch the water passage that runs between the two countries. The imposing structure was built to house the royal families that guarded the waterway and collected tariffs and tolls from merchants. Anyone, who wished to travel along the narrow water passage, was subject to a monetary exchange with residents of this castle.

This structure was first built in the fifteenth century and it is reported to be the home of Hamlet from Shakespeare's play entitled, MacBeth, but according to information provided by the Danish Ministry of Finance, Hamlet was a fictional character. However, since productions of MacBeth have been performed here since the 1600's, this location is still referred to as Hamlet's castle and Helsingor is Shakespeare's Elsinore.

Nonetheless, a walk through this immense building is a fascinating tour. The chapel is astounding. It features an amazing hand-carved altar and interior that one might expect to find in medieval Germany. Also of note is the large assembly room that sits in the northwest corner of the building on the second story. The scale of this huge chamber is simply overwhelming.

I have found Helsingor a more reasonable-priced place to enjoy a nice dinner than nearby Copenhagen. They are a few places near the train station and a better selection of restaurants at the public square that sits in the center of the old town. All of these restaurants have open air seating and feature a native cuisine. Just walking around the town in search of a restaurant is an enjoyable activity. For some who prefer staying in smaller towns, this place might be an option. I only have information about the HI hostel in Helsingor, which is reported to be quite nice and even has its own private beach.

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