the dictionary of norse mythology


PROSE EDDA A manual for poets and scholars written circa 1220 by Icelandic poet, historian, and chieftain snorri sturluson 1179-1241. It is a handbook of Norse mythology, designed as a guide for poets to encourage them to write in the style of the ancient poets of the viking Age. Because it was written later than the poetic edda eighth-13th cen-turies, it was known as the Younger Edda and sometimes as the Snorra Edda.The Prose Edda consists mostly of• gylfaginning The Deceiving of Gylfi, which tells the myths of the Norse gods and giants. It is an important source for some of the tales.• skaldskaparmal Poetic Diction, a listing of the condensed metaphors, called kennings, frequently used in Viking poetry. Two exam-ples of kennings are Sif's hair for gold see treasures of the dwarfs, and Kvasir's blood for poetry see The Mead of Poetry, under odin. This work also contains some mythological and legendary tales.• Hattatal The Meters of Poetry A poem by Snorri about King Haakon and Duke Skuli of norway during the years 1221 and 1223.For mythologists, the major interest of the Prose Edda is in Gylfaginning.Snorri wrote this guide to old Icelandic poetry and mythology when Christianity was well estab-lished in Iceland and knowledge about the old godsand their adventures was dying out. He sought to pre-serve the ancient knowledge. Sometimes Snorri quotes from sources that are still available to modern scholars. At other times he quotes from poems and stories that are now lost.

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