Norse Mythology

Snorri and the Eddas

What was the Poetic Edda?

A thirteenth-century manuscript known as the Codex Regius was rediscovered in an old Icelandic farmhouse in 1643 C.E. Scholars believe that the poems of this manuscript are based on stories from the Viking period. The Codex Regius material, along with other discovered material, is now known as the Poetic Edda or Elder Edda, or sometimes Saemund’s Edda, after a now-discredited attribution of the compilation to one Saemund Sigfusson. The most famous poems in the collection are the Voluspa (the Prophecy of the Seeress), containing the myths of the beginning and end of the world; the Grimnismal, in which the high god Odin speaks in his disguise as the “hooded one” (Grimnir); and the Havamal, containing the myth of Odin’s self-hanging.


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