About Rein Sepp

Rein Sepp was an Estonian writer, he became known for his translations of Icelandic sagas.


Rein Sepp, the great Germanist of the 20th century Estonia, was born on April 23, 1921. His studies at the University of Tartu were interrupted by World War II, in which he participated in the ranks of the German army. After a Soviet prison camp in Siberia he committed himself to translating various writings, mainly from the Old Icelandic, German and English languages – Poetic-Edda (1970), Nibelungenlied (1977), Parzival (1989), Beowulf (1990), Snorra-Edda (1990), Anglo-Saxon Chronicles and Early English Poems (1992). This is a list of epic translations that even some great nations have failed to produce. Apart from these, he has translated Shakespeare’s play “Love’s Labour’s Lost”, German and English poetry, German and Dutch prose. In addition, he made a name for himself as an author of science fiction. He was the laureate of several translation and literary prizes of Estonia. In the last decades of his life, Rein Sepp lived and worked in his country home in Ipiki Village, North Latvia, which became a favourite destination for Estonian cultural figures. As a member of the students’ corps “Sakala”, he mentored several generations of students, who visited him often. Rein Sepp died on January 25, 1995.

(Tarmo Kulmar)