the dictionary of norse mythology


POETIC EDDA A collection of poems on mythological and legendary themes, written down from the oral tradition by many different poets at dif-ferent times between the eighth and 13th centuries. The Poetic Edda was called the Elder Edda because most of its material predates the 13th-century prose edda by snorri sturluson.Among other manuscripts, the Poetic Edda con-sists of• The codex regius, which contains some 30 mythical and heroic poems, probably written about 1270 and discovered by Icelandic bishop Brynjolfur Sveinsson in 1643. It was erro-neously called Saemunds Edda in old refer-ences, after the Icelandic bishop saemund sigfusson, who was once thought to have written the poems.• The Arnamagnean Collection, another, smaller group of poems that includes Balder's Dreams see under balder.• The voluspa, an account of the origins of the world, its present state, its destruction at rag-narok, and the new world.Poems of the Poetic Edda include• Alvismal Lay of alvis• Flateyjarbok Book of the Flat Island, source of the myth about hyndla• grimnismal Lay of Grimnir• Harbarthsljoth Lay of harbard• havamal Words of the High One• Hymiskvitha Lay of Hymir, see under thor• hyndluljoth Lay of Hyndla• lokasenna LokisMockingReginsmal Lay of regin rigsthula Lay of Rig skirnismal Lay of Skirnir svipdagsmal Lay of Svipdag thrymskvitha Lay of Thrym vafthrudnismal Lay of VafthrudnirOther poems in the Poetic Edda deal with mortal heroes rather than gods of the Northlands, for example sigurd.

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