elder edda


  1. See under Edda.


  1. either of two old Icelandic literary works, one a collection of poems on mythical and religious subjects ( or ) erroneously attributed to Saemund Sigfusson (c1055–1133), the other a collection of ancient Scandinavian myths and legends, rules and theories of versification, poems, etc. ( or ), compiled and written in part by Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241).


  1. Also called: Elder Edda, Poetic Edda a collection of mythological Old Norse poems made in the 12th century
  2. Also called: Younger Edda, Prose Edda a treatise on versification together with a collection of Scandinavian myths, legends, and poems compiled by Snorri Sturluson (1179–1241), the Icelandic historian and poet

1771, by some identified with the name of the old woman in the Old Norse poem “Rigsþul,” by others derived from Old Norse oðr “spirit, mind, passion, song, poetry” (cognate with Old Irish faith “poet,” Welsh gwawd “poem,” Old English woþ “sound, melody, song,” Latin vates “seer, soothsayer;” see wood (adj.)).

It is the name given to two Icelandic books, the first a miscellany of poetry, mythology, and grammar by Snorri Sturluson (d.1241), since 1642 called the Younger or Prose Edda; and a c.1200 collection of ancient Germanic poetry and religious tales, called the Elder or Poetic Edda.

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