Skip to main content
Select Source:

saga

saga a long story of heroic achievement, especially a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic, embodying the traditional histories of the Norse families who first settled Iceland or of the kings of Norway. The word is recorded in English from the early 18th century, and comes from Old Norse, literally ‘narrative’.

From the mid 19th century, the use of the term has widened to cover stories regarded as resembling traditional sagas, in particular (as with Galsworthy's The Forsyte Saga) dealing with the history of a family through several generations. Saga may also be used loosely for a long, involved story, account, or series of incidents.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga

"saga." The Oxford Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Saga (city, Japan)

Saga (sä´gä), city (1990 pop. 169,963), capital of Saga prefecture, W Kyushu, Japan. It is a railroad and coal-distribution center. Cotton textiles and ceramics are produced in the city. A castle town in feudal times, Saga was the center of a rebellion in 1874. Saga prefecture (1990 pop. 877,865), 946 sq mi (2,450 sq km), is known for its advanced techniques in growing rice and oranges, as well as for its dairy farming and cattle raising.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Saga (city, Japan)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Saga (city, Japan)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga-city-japan

"Saga (city, Japan)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga-city-japan

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

saga (in Old Norse Literature)

saga, in Old Norse literature, especially Icelandic and Norwegian, narrative in prose or verse, centering on a legendary or historical figure or family. Sagas may be divided into sagas of the kings, mainly of early Norwegian rulers; Icelandic sagas, both biographical and historical; contemporary sagas, which were also Icelandic and were written about living persons; legendary sagas of the distant past; and sagas that were translations of foreign romances. Sagas were composed from about the early 11th to the mid-14th cent. and were first written down c.1200. Scholars disagree as to the extent to which written versions borrowed from earlier oral compositions. The sagas vary greatly in length. The greatest attention has been given to the history sagas (e.g., Sturlungasaga), the family sagas (e.g., Njála, tr. by G. W. Dasent, 1861; M. Magnusson and P. Palsson, 1960), and the mythical heroic sagas (e.g., Völsungasaga, tr. by William Morris, 1870). In all these the epic element is strong, and the milieu of a heroic society is made vivid. Historical accuracy was often a major aim of the saga, although reworking, interjection of the supernatural, and other changes caused distortion. The historical approach is felt in the careful selection of events and the great emphasis on cause and effect. Among other noted sagas are the Heimskringla of Snorri Sturluson (tr. by L. Hollander, 1964); the Laxdœla, translated in Earthly Paradise by William Morris; the Grettla, translated by the same author; the Frithjof, translated by Esaias Tegnér; and Gisli, translated by R. B. Allen.

See The Sagas of the Icelanders (2000) for a selection of the sagas. See also S. Einarsson, A History of Icelandic Literature (1957); P. Hallberg, The Icelandic Saga (tr. 1962); L. Lönnroth, Njáls Saga (1976); C. Clover, The Medieval Saga (1982); P. Schach, Icelandic Sagas (1984).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga (in Old Norse Literature)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga (in Old Norse Literature)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga-old-norse-literature

"saga (in Old Norse Literature)." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga-old-norse-literature

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

saga

saga In old Norse literature (especially Icelandic), prose narrative that relates the lives of historical figures. The sagas were written between the 7th and 14th centuries. Notable examples include the Gísla saga, the Njáls saga, and the Heimskringla by Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga." World Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga

"saga." World Encyclopedia. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/environment/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/saga

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

saga

sa·ga / ˈsägə/ • n. a long story of heroic achievement, esp. a medieval prose narrative in Old Norse or Old Icelandic. ∎  a long, involved story, account, or series of incidents: the saga of her engagement.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-2

"saga." The Oxford Pocket Dictionary of Current English. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-2

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

saga

saga medieval Norse narrative in prose. XVIII. — ON. (Icel.) saga SAW2.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-3

"saga." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Etymology. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-3

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

saga

sagablagger, bragger, dagger, flagger, Jagger, lagger, nagger, quagga, saggar, shagger, stagger, swagger •alga, realgar, Trafalgar •anger, clangour (US clangor), Katanga, languor, manga, panga, sangar, tanga, Tauranga, Zamboanga •sandbagger • carpetbagger • Erlanger •Aga, Braga, dagga, dargah, laager, lager, naga, Onondaga, raga, saga •beggar, eggar, Gregor, mega, Megger •Edgar • Helga • Heidegger •bootlegger •Jaeger, maigre, Meleager, Noriega, Ortega, rutabaga, Sagar •Antigua, beleaguer, bodega, eager, intriguer, leaguer, meagre (US meager), reneger, Riga, Seeger, Vega •chigger, configure, digger, figure, Frigga, jigger, ligger, rigger, rigor, rigour, snigger, swigger, transfigure, trigger, vigour (US vigor) •churinga, finger, linger, malinger •gravedigger • ladyfinger • forefinger •omega • vinegar • Honegger •outrigger • Minnesinger •Auriga, Eiger, liger, saiga, taiga, tiger

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"saga." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"saga." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-1

"saga." Oxford Dictionary of Rhymes. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-1

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

SAGA

SAGA Society of American Graphic Artists

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"SAGA." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. 20 Nov. 2018 <https://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"SAGA." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Encyclopedia.com. (November 20, 2018). https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-0

"SAGA." The Oxford Dictionary of Abbreviations. . Retrieved November 20, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/saga-0

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.