Elder/Poetic Edda

Since: Mar 13

Ashburn, VA

#1 Mar 25, 2013

Elder Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems collected in the medieval manuscript Codex Regius in Iceland. It is the most valuable surviving source of German legends and Norse mythology, along with the Prose Edda. Among the prominent figures in the literary genre that were influenced by the Edda are Karin Boye, JRR Tolkien, August Strindberg, Ezra Pound and Vilhelm Ekelund.
Codex Regius was believed to be composed some time within the 13th century but its whereabouts were unknown before its discovery in 1643 in the possession of Bishop Brynjolfur Sveinsson of Skalholt (around this time, the Prose/Younger Edda was already popular, leading scholars to presume the existence of an older Edda because the Prose frequently quotes from poems). Brynjolfur was the one who sent the codex to a Danish king then it was stored in the Royal Library of Copenhagen for many centuries. It was not returned to Iceland until 1971.
Like most of the ancient poetry, Eddic poems are known to be ministrel poems (medieval musicians passing songs and poems orally from and to other singers). According to Brynjolfur, the author was Saemundr the Learned, a 12th century priest in Iceland but this is disputed by scholars. The poems did not have attributions to any author but strongly believed to be the work of separate poets due to their specific characteristics.
Determining the date of the poems has yet to have a definite conclusion along with the dilemma of identifying just where exactly they were created.

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