Poetic Edda


The Poetic Edda, sometimes also called the elder Edda, consists of poems by unknown authors . They are mostly preserved in a thirteenth century vellum manuscript known as the Codex Regius, which is without doubt one of the most valuable Icelandic manuscript preserved as it gives a unique window into the world view and mythology of medieval times. Although written in the thirteenth century, the poems had lived in oral tradition for centuries.

The poems are mainly epic poems telling tales of heroes such as Attila the Hun and Brynhildur Buðladóttir, but also poems about Norse mythology and the pagan gods, such as gnomic poem Hávamál (Words of the High One) attributed to Odin, and Völuspá (Prophecy of the Seeress) that describes the pagan world view.

The Prose Edda has been published in various editions in English and other languages, amongst others in the Oxford World‘s Classics series (newest edition from 2009). 

More information on the manuschript at Árni Magnússon Institue of Icelandic Studies.