the dictionary of norse mythology


EDDAS, THE Two distinct works the poetic edda, also called the Elder Edda, and the prose edda, sometimes known as the Snorra Edda or Younger Edda. The Eddas are the main source of knowledge about Norse mythology. The Poetic Edda is a collection of poems on mythological and legendary themes, written down at different times and by different poets between the eighth and 13th centuries. They were discov-ered in 1643 by the Icelandic bishop Brynjolfur Sveinsson. The Poetic Edda was sometimes called Saemunds Edda in the mistaken belief that it had been written by the medieval bishop saemund sigfusson.The Prose Edda, younger because it was not put to paper until around 1220, was written by Icelandic poet, historian, and diplomat snorri sturluson. 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.These two great books helped keep alive the memory of the ancient gods and their exploits, which otherwise might have been lost forever with the com-ing of Christianity to the northern lands.

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