The Elder Edda

By Unknown, Andy Orchard (translator),

Book cover of The Elder Edda: A Book of Viking Lore

Book description

Compiled by an unknown scribe in Iceland around 1270, and based on sources dating back centuries earlier, these mythological and heroic poems tell of gods and mortals from an ancient era: the giant-slaying Thor, the doomed Voelsung family, the Hel-ride of Brynhild and the cruelty of Atli the Hun. Eclectic,…

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Why read it?

1 author picked The Elder Edda as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Snorri did not write his Edda in a vacuum, and the mythological and heroic poems collected in the thirteenth century Codex Regius (and a handful of other manuscripts) provide a snapshot of the sort of raw material from which his book was constructed. The apparent antiquity of these poems (quite how old remains a matter of debate) led to them being labelled the ‘Elder’ Edda and, although in their preserved form they are products of the Middle Ages, they powerfully evoke the strange and esoteric world of northern antiquity. In content the mythological poems encompass, amongst much else, Völuspá (the…

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