In early Germanic paganism, *Wulþuz appears to have been an important concept personified as a god, or an epithet of an important god. The term wolþu- "glory" in reference to the god, is attested on the 3rd century Thorsberg chape, there are many placenames in Ullr and a related name, but medieval Icelandic sources have only sparse material on the god Ullr; the medieval Norse word was Latinized as Ollerus. The Icelandic form is Ullur. In the mainland North Germanic languages, the modern form is Ull; the Old English cognate wuldor means "glory" but is not used as a proper name, although it figures in kennings for the Christian God such as wuldres cyning "king of glory", wuldorfæder "glory-father" or wuldor alwealda "glorious all-ruler". The Thorsberg chape bears an Elder Futhark inscription, one of the earliest known altogether, dating to AD 200. Owlþuþewaz / niwajmariz The first element owlþu, for wolþu-, means "glory", "glorious one", Old Norse Ullr, Old English wuldor; the second element, -þewaz, means "slave, servant".
The whole compound is a personal name or title, "servant of the glorious one", "servant/priest of Ullr". Niwajmariz means "well-honored". In Saxo Grammaticus' 12th century work Gesta Danorum, where gods appear euhemerized, Ollerus is described as a cunning wizard with magical means of transportation: When Odin was exiled, Ollerus was chosen to take his place. Ollerus ruled under the name Odin for ten years. Ullr is mentioned in the poem Grímnismál; the English versions shown here are by Thorpe. The name Ýdalir, meaning "yew dales", is not otherwise attested; the yew was an important material in the making of bows, the word ýr, "yew", is used metonymically to refer to bows. It seems that the name Ýdalir is connected with the idea of Ullr as a bow-god. Another strophe in Grímnismál mentions Ullr; the strophe may refer to some sort of religious ceremony. It seems to indicate Ullr as an important god; the last reference to Ullr in the Poetic Edda is found in Atlakviða: Both Atlakviða and Grímnismál are considered to be among the oldest extant Eddic poems.
It may not be a coincidence. Again we seem to find Ullr associated with some sort of ceremony, this time that of swearing an oath by a ring, a practice associated with Thor in sources. In chapter 31 of Gylfaginning in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, Ullr is referred to as a son of Sif and as a stepson of Sif's husband. Snorri informs his readers that Ullr can be called bow-god, hunting-god and shield-god. In turn a shield can be called Ullr's ship. Despite these tantalising tidbits Snorri relates no myths about Ullr, it seems that he didn't know any, the god having faded from memory. Snorri's note that a shield can be called Ullr's ship is borne out by surviving skaldic poetry with kennings such as askr Ullar, far Ullar and kjóll Ullar all meaning Ullr's ship and referring to shields. While the origin of this kenning is unknown it could be connected with the identity of Ullr as a ski-god. Early skis, or sleds, might have been reminiscent of shields. A late Icelandic composition, Laufás-Edda, offers the prosaic explanation that Ullr's ship was called Skjöldr, "Shield".
The name of Ullr is common in warrior kennings, where it is used as other god names are. Ullr brands – Ullr of sword – warrior rand-Ullr – shield-Ullr – warrior Ullr almsíma – Ullr of bowstring – warriorThree skaldic poems, Þórsdrápa, Haustlöng and a fragment by Eysteinn Valdason, refer to Thor as Ullr's stepfather, confirming Snorri's information. Ullr's name appears in several important Swedish place names; this indicates that Ullr had at some point a religious importance in Scandinavia, greater than what is apparent from the scant surviving textual references. It is probably significant that the placenames referring to this god are found close to placenames referring to another deity: Njörðr in Sweden and Freyr in Norway; some of the Norwegian placenames have Ullinn. It has been suggested that this is the remnant of a pair of divine twins and further that there may have been a female Ullin, on the model of divine pairs such as Fjörgyn and Fjörgynn. Ullarhváll - name of an old farm in Oslo and of Ullevaal Stadion Ullestad - name of old farm in Voss.
Ullarnes - name of an old farm in Rennesøy. Ullerøy - name of four old farms in Skjeberg, Spind, Sør-Odal and Vestre Moland. Ullern - name of old farms in Hole, Ullensaker, Sør-Odal and Øvre Eiker. Ullinsakr - name of two old farms in Hemsedal and Torpa. Ullinshof - name of three old farms in Nes, Nes and Ullensaker. Ullensvang - name of an old farm in Ullensvang. Ullinsvin - name of an old farm in Vågå. Ullsfjorden - fjord in Troms county. Believed to be named after Ullr, although there is some uncertainty. Ulvik - village and fjord in Hordaland county.(For a possible nickname *Ringir for Ullr see under the na
Hermóðr the Brave is a figure in Norse mythology, a son of the god Odin. He is considered the messenger of the gods. Hermóðr appears distinctly in section 49 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning. There, it is described that the gods were speechless and devastated at the death of Baldr, unable to react due to their grief. After the gods gathered their wits from the immense shock and grief of Baldr's death, Frigg asked the Æsir who amongst them wished "to gain all of her love and favor" by riding the road to Hel. Whoever agreed was to offer Hel a ransom in exchange for Baldr's return to Asgard. Hermóðr set off with Sleipnir to Hel. Hermóðr rode Odin's horse Sleipnir for nine nights through deep and dark valleys to the Gjöll bridge covered with shining gold, the bridge being guarded by the maiden Móðguðr'Battle-frenzy' or'Battle-tired'. Móðguðr told Hermóðr that Baldr had crossed the bridge and that Hermóðr should ride downwards and northwards. Upon coming to Hel's gate, Hermóðr dismounted, tightened Sleipnir's girth, mounted again, spurred Sleipnir so that Sleipnir leapt over the gate.
So at last Hermóðr came to Hel's hall and saw Baldr seated in the most honorable seat. Hermóðr begged Hel to release Baldr. Thereupon Hel announced that Baldr would only be released if all things and alive, wept for him. Baldr gave Hermóðr the ring Draupnir, burned with him on his pyre, to take back to Odin. Nanna gave a linen robe for Frigg along with a finger-ring for Fulla. Thereupon Hermóðr returned with his message. Hermóðr is called "son" of Odin in most manuscripts, while in the Codex Regius version—normally considered the best manuscript—Hermóðr is called sveinn Óðins'Odin's boy', which in the context is as to mean'Odin's servant'; however Hermóðr in a passage is called Baldr's brother and appears as son of Odin in a list of Odin's sons. See Sons of Odin; the name Hermóðr seems to be applied to a mortal hero in the eddic poem Hyndluljóð: The favour of the Highfather we seek to find,To his followers gold he gladly gives. In the skaldic poem Hákonarmál Hermóðr and Bragi appear in Valhalla receiving Hákon the Good.
It is not certain that either Bragi is intended to be a god in this poem. In the Old English poem Beowulf, Heremod is a Danish king, driven into exile and in Old English genealogies Heremod appears appropriately as one of the descendants of Sceafa and as the father of Scyld. Byock, Jesse; the Prose Edda. Penguin Classics. ISBN 0-14-044755-5 Orchard, Andy. Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2 MyNDIR Illustrations of Hermóðr from manuscripts and early print books. Clicking on the thumbnail will give you the full image and information concerning it
Hjúki and Bil
In Norse mythology, Hjúki and Bil are a brother and sister pair of children who follow the personified moon, Máni, across the heavens. Both Hjúki and Bil are attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. Scholarly theories that surround the two concern their nature, their role as potential personifications of the craters on the moon or its phases, their relation to folklore in Germanic Europe. Bil has been identified with the Bilwis, an agriculture-associated figure, attested in the folklore of German-speaking areas of Europe. In chapter 11 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, the enthroned figure of High states that two children by the names of Hjúki and Bil were fathered by Viðfinnr. Once while the two were walking from the well Byrgir — both of them carrying on their shoulders the pole Simul that held the pail Sæg between them — Máni took them from the earth, they now follow Máni in the heavens, "as can be seen from the earth". Hjúki is otherwise unmentioned.
In chapter 35 of Gylfaginning, at the end of a listing of numerous other goddesses in Norse mythology, both Sól and Bil are listed together as goddesses "whose nature has been described". Bil appears twice more in the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál. In chapter 75, Bil appears within another list of goddesses, her name appears in chapter 47 in a kenning for "woman"; as the two are otherwise unattested outside of Snorri's Prose Edda, suggestions have been made that Hjúki and Bil may have been of minor mythic significance, or that they were made up outright by Snorri, while Anne Holtsmark posits that Snorri may have known or had access to a now lost verse source wherein Hjúki and Bil personified the waxing and waning moon. Holtsmark further theorizes. Scholars have theorized that Hjúki and Bil may represent lunar activity, including that they may represent the phases of the moon or may represent the craters of the moon. 19th century scholar Jacob Grimm rejects the suggestion that Hjúki and Bil represent the phases of the moon, states that Hjúki and Bil rather represent the craters on the moon seen from the earth.
Grimm says. No change of the moon could suggest the image of two children with a pail slung over their shoulders. Moreover, to this day the Swedish people see in the spots of the moon two persons carrying a big bucket on a pole." Grimm adds that: What is most important for us, out of the heathen fancy of a kidnapping man of the moon, apart from Scandinavia, was doubtless in vogue all over Teutondom, if not farther, there has evolved itself since a Christian adaptation. They say the man in the moon is a wood-stealer, who during church time on the holy sabbath committed a trespass in the wood, was transported to the moon as a punishment. Plainly enough the water-pole of the heathen story has been transformed into the axe's shaft, the carried pail into the thornbrush. Grimm gives further examples from Germanic folklore until the time of his writing and notes a potential connection between the German word wadel and the dialectal employment of the word for "brushwood, twigs tied up in a bundle, esp fir-twigs, wadeln to tie up brushwood", the practice of cutting wood out in the full moon.
Benjamin Thorpe agrees with the theory of Bil as the personified shapes of moon craters. Rudolf Simek states that the obscurity of the names of the objects in the tale of Hjúki and Bil may indicate that Snorri derived them from a folktale, that the form of the tale of the Man in the Moon is found in modern folklore in Scandinavia and Northern Germany. In both the story Hjúki and Bil found in the Icelandic Prose Edda and the English nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill", two children, one male and one female, fetch a pail of water, the pairs have names that have been perceived as phonetically similar; these elements have resulted in theories connecting the two, the notion has had some influence, appearing in school books for children from the 19th century and into the 20th century. A traditional form of the rhyme reads: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water Jack fell down and broke his crown and Jill came tumbling after. Up Jack got and home did trot as fast, he went to bed to mind his head with brown paper.
A figure by the name of Bilwis is attested in various parts of German-speaking Europe starting in the 13th century. Scholar Leander Petzoldt writes that the figure seems to stem from the goddess and over time saw many changes developing "an elfin, dwarfish aspect and the ability to cripple people or cattle with the shot of an arrow". Petzoldt further surveys the development of the figure: During the course of the thirteenth century, the Bilwis is less and less treated as the personification of a supernatural power but becomes identified as a malevolent human being, a witch. Still with the rise of the witch persecution at the end of the Middle Ages, the Bilwis was demonized.
The Nordic countries or the Nordics are a geographical and cultural region in Northern Europe and the North Atlantic, where they are most known as Norden. The term includes Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, as well as Greenland and the Faroe Islands—which are both part of the Kingdom of Denmark—and the Åland Islands and Svalbard and Jan Mayen archipelagos that belong to Finland and Norway whereas the Norwegian Antarctic territories are not considered a part of the Nordic countries, due to their geographical location. Scandinavians, who comprise over three quarters of the region's population, are the largest group, followed by Finns, who comprise the majority in Finland; the native languages Swedish, Norwegian and Faroese are all North Germanic languages rooted in Old Norse. Native non-Germanic languages are Finnish and several Sami languages; the main religion is Lutheran Christianity. The Nordic countries have much in common in their way of life, religion, their use of Scandinavian languages and social structure.
The Nordic countries have a long history of political unions and other close relations, but do not form a separate entity today. The Scandinavist movement sought to unite Denmark and Sweden into one country in the 19th century, with the indepedence of Finland in the early 20th century, Iceland in the mid 20th century, this movement expanded into the modern organised Nordic cooperation which includes the Nordic Council and the Nordic Council of Ministers. In English, Scandinavia is sometimes used as a synonym for the Nordic countries, but that term more properly refers to the three monarchies of Denmark and Sweden. Geologically, the Scandinavian Peninsula comprises the mainland of Norway and Sweden as well as the northernmost part of Finland; the combined area of the Nordic countries is 3,425,804 square kilometres. Uninhabitable icecaps and glaciers comprise about half of this area in Greenland. In January 2013, the region had a population of around 26 million people; the Nordic countries cluster near the top in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life and human development.
With only four language groups, the common linguistic heterogeneous heritage is one of the factors making up the Nordic identity. The languages of Danish, Swedish and Faroese are all rooted in Old Norse and Danish and Swedish are considered mutually intelligible; these three dominating languages are taught in schools throughout the Nordic region. For example, Swedish is a mandatory subject in Finnish schools, since Finland by law is a bilingual country. Danish is mandatory in Faroese and Greenlandic schools, as these insular states are a part of the Danish Realm. Iceland teaches Danish, since Iceland too was a part of the Danish Realm until 1918. Beside these and the insular Scandinavian languages Faroese and Icelandic, which are North Germanic languages, there are the Finnic and Sami branches of the Uralic languages, spoken in Finland and in northern Norway and Finland, respectively. All the Nordic countries have a North Germanic official language called a Nordic language in the Nordic countries.
The working languages of the Nordic region's two political bodies are Danish and Swedish. Each of the Nordic countries has its own economic and social models, sometimes with large differences from its neighbours, but to varying degrees the Nordic countries share the Nordic model of economy and social structure: a market economy is combined with strong labour unions and a universalist welfare sector financed by heavy taxes. There is a high degree of income redistribution and little social unrest and these include support for said "universalist" welfare state aimed at enhancing individual autonomy and promoting social mobility; the Nordic countries consists of historical territories of the Scandinavian countries, areas that share a common history and culture with Scandinavia. It is meant to refer to this larger group, since the term Scandinavia is narrower and sometimes ambiguous; the Nordic countries are considered to refer to Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, including their associated territories.
The term "Nordic countries" found mainstream use after the advent of Foreningen Norden. The term is derived indirectly from the local term Norden, used in the Scandinavian languages, which means "The North". Unlike "the Nordic countries", the term Norden is in the singular; the demonym is nordbo meaning "northern dweller". Scandinavia refers to either the cultural and linguistic group formed by the three monarchies Denmark and Sweden, or the Scandinavian peninsula, formed by mainland Norway and Sweden as well as the northwesternmost part of Finland. Outside of the Nordic region the term Scandinavia is used incorrectly as a synonym for the Nordic countries. First recorded use of the name by Pliny the Elder about a "large, fertile island in the North". Fennoscandia refers to the area that includes the Scandinavian peninsula, Kola Peninsula and Karelia; this term is
In Norse mythology, Ragnarök (. After these events, the world will resurface anew and fertile, the surviving and returning gods will meet and the world will be repopulated by two human survivors. Ragnarök is an important event in Norse mythology and has been the subject of scholarly discourse and theory in the history of Germanic studies; the event is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources and the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson. In the Prose Edda and in a single poem in the Poetic Edda, the event is referred to as Ragnarök or Ragnarøkkr, a usage popularised by 19th-century composer Richard Wagner with the title of the last of his Der Ring des Nibelungen operas, Götterdämmerung, "Twilight of the Gods" in German; the Old Norse compound ragnarok has a long history of interpretation. Its first element, ragna, is unproblematic, being the genitive plural of regin "the ruling powers, gods"; the second element is more problematic, as it occurs in - rök and - røkkr.
Writing in the early 20th century, philologist Geir Zoëga treats the two forms as two separate compounds, glossing ragnarök as "the doom or destruction of the gods" and ragnarøkkr as "the twilight of the gods". The plural noun rök has several meanings, including "development, cause, fate"; the word ragnarök as a whole is usually interpreted as the "final destiny of the gods". The singular form ragnarøkr is found in a stanza of the Poetic Edda poem Lokasenna, in the Prose Edda; the noun røkr means "twilight", suggesting a translation "twilight of the gods". This reading was considered a result of folk etymology, or a learned reinterpretation, of the original term due to the merger of /ɔ:/ and /ø/ in Old Icelandic after c. 1200. Other terms used to refer to the events surrounding Ragnarök in the Poetic Edda include aldar rök from a stanza of Vafþrúðnismál, tíva rök from two stanzas of Vafþrúðnismál, þá er regin deyja from Vafþrúðnismál, unz um rjúfask regin from Vafþrúðnismál, Sigrdrífumál, aldar rof from Helgakviða Hundingsbana II, regin þrjóta from Hyndluljóð, and, in the Prose Edda, þá er Muspellz-synir herja can be found in chapters 18 and 36 of Gylfaginning.
The Poetic Edda contains various references to Ragnarök: In the Poetic Edda poem Völuspá, references to Ragnarök begin from stanza 40 until 58, with the rest of the poem describing the aftermath. In the poem, a völva recites information to Odin. In stanza 41, the völva says: The völva describes three roosters crowing: In stanza 42, the jötunn herdsman Eggthér sits on a mound and cheerfully plays his harp while the crimson rooster Fjalar crows in the forest Gálgviðr; the golden rooster Gullinkambi crows to the Æsir in Valhalla, the third, unnamed soot-red rooster crows in the halls of the underworld location of Hel in stanza 43. After these stanzas, the völva further relates that the hound Garmr produces deep howls in front of the cave of Gnipahellir. Garmr's bindings break and he runs free; the völva describes the state of humanity: The "sons of Mím" are described as being "at play", though this reference is not further explained in surviving sources. Heimdall raises the Gjallarhorn into the air and blows into it, Odin converses with Mím's head.
The world tree Yggdrasil groans. The jötunn Hrym comes from his shield before him; the Midgard serpent Jörmungandr furiously writhes. "The eagle shrieks, pale-beaked he tears the corpse," and the ship Naglfar breaks free thanks to the waves made by Jormungandr and sets sail from the east. The fire jötnar inhabitants of Muspelheim come forth; the völva continues that Jötunheimr, the land of the jötnar, is aroar, that the Æsir are in council. The dwarfs groan by their stone doors. Surtr advances from the south, his sword brighter than the sun. Rocky cliffs open and the jötnar women sink; the gods do battle with the invaders: Odin is swallowed whole and alive fighting the wolf Fenrir, causing his wife Frigg her second great sorrow. Odin's son Víðarr avenges his father by rending Fenrir's jaws apart and stabbing it in the heart with his spear, thus killing the wolf; the serpent Jörmungandr opens its gaping maw, yawning in the air, is met in combat by Thor. Thor a son of Odin and described here as protector of the earth, furiously fights the serpent, defeating it, but Thor is only able to take nine steps afterward before collapsing.
The god Freyr loses. After this, people flee their homes, the sun becomes black while the earth sinks into the sea, the stars vanish, steam rises, flames touch the heavens; the völva sees the earth reappearing from the water, an eagle over a waterfall hunting fish on a mountain. The surviving Æsir meet together at the field of Iðavöllr, they discuss Jörmungandr, great events of the past, the runic alphabet. In stanza 61, in the grass, they find the golden game pieces that the gods are described as having once enjoyed playing games with long
In Norse mythology, Aurgelmir, Brimir, or Bláinn is the ancestor of all jötnar. Ymir is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional material, in the Prose Edda, written by Snorri Sturluson in the 13th century, in the poetry of skalds. Taken together, several stanzas from four poems collected in the Poetic Edda refer to Ymir as a primeval being, born from venom that dripped from the icy rivers Élivágar and lived in the grassless void of Ginnungagap. Ymir birthed a male and female from the pits of his arms, his legs together begat a six-headed being; the gods Odin, Vili and Vé fashioned the Earth from his flesh, from his blood the ocean, from his bones the mountains, from his hair the trees, from his brains the clouds, from his skull the heavens, from his eyebrows the middle realm in which mankind lives, Midgard. In addition, one stanza relates that the dwarfs were given life by the gods from Ymir's flesh and blood. In the Prose Edda, a narrative is provided that draws from, adds to, differs from the accounts in the Poetic Edda.
According to the Prose Edda, after Ymir was formed from the elemental drops, so too was Auðumbla, a primeval cow, whose milk Ymir fed from. The Prose Edda states that three gods killed Ymir. Scholars have debated as to what extent Snorri's account of Ymir is an attempt to synthesize a coherent narrative for the purpose of the Prose Edda and to what extent Snorri drew from traditional material outside of the corpus that he cites. By way of historical linguistics and comparative mythology, scholars have linked Ymir to Tuisto, the Proto-Germanic being attested by Tacitus in his 1st century AD work Germania and have identified Ymir as an echo of a primordial being reconstructed in Proto-Indo-European mythology. Ymir is mentioned in four poems in the Poetic Edda. In Völuspá, in which an undead völva imparts knowledge in the god Odin, references are twice made to Ymir. In the first instance, the third stanza of the poem, Ymir is mentioned by name: In the above translations the name of the location Ginnungagap is translated as "chaotic chasm" and "yawning gap".
In the poem, a few other references are made to Ymir as Brimir and Bláinn: In this stanza Thorpe has treated Brimir and Blain as common nouns. Brimir and Blain are held to be proper names that refer to Ymir, as in Bellows's translation. In the poem Vafþrúðnismál, the god Odin engages the wise jötunn Vafþrúðnir in a game of wits. Odin asks Vafþrúðnir to tell him, if Vafþrúðnir's knowledge is sufficient, the answer to a variety of questions. In the first of which that refers to Ymir, Odin asks from where first came the sky; the jötunn responds with a creation account involving Ymir: As the verbal battle continues, a few more exchanges directly refer to or may allude to Ymir. Odin asks what ancient jötun is the eldest of "Ymir's kin", Vafþrúðnir responds that long, long ago it was Bergelmir, Þrúðgelmir's son and Aurgelmir's grandson. In the next stanza Odin asks where Aurgelmir came from so long ago, to which Vafþrúðnir responds that venom dropped from Élivágar, that these drops grew until they became a jötunn, from this being descends the jötnar.
Odin asks how this being begat children, as he did not know the company of a female jötunn, to which Vafþrúðnir responds that from beneath the ancient jötunn's armpits together a girl and a boy grew, his feet together produced a six-headed jötunn. In the poem Grímnismál, the god Odin imparts in the young Agnarr cosmological knowledge. In one stanza, Odin mentions Ymir as he recalls the fashioning of the world from his body: In a stanza of Völuspá hin skamma, Ymir receives one more mention. According to the stanza, völvas are descended from Viðòlfr, all seers from Vilmeiðr, all charm-workers from Svarthöfði, all jötnar descend from Ymir. Ymir is mentioned in two books of the Prose Edda. Ymir is first mentioned in chapter 5 of the prior, in which High, Just-As-High, Third tell Gangleri about how all things came to be; the trio explain that the first world to exist was Muspell, a glowing, fiery southern region consisting of flames, uninhabitable by non-natives. After "many ages" Niflheimr was made, within it lies a spring, from which flows eleven rivers.
Gangleri asks the three. High continues that these icy rivers, which are called Élivágar, ran so far from their spring source that the poisonous matter that flows with them became hard "like the clinker that comes from a furnace"—it turned to ice, and so, when this ice came to a halt and stopped flowing, the vapor that rose up from the poison went in the same direction and froze to rime. This rime increased, layer upon layer, across Ginnungagap. Just-As-High adds that the northern part of Ginnungagap was heavy with ice and rime, vapor and blowing came inward from this, yet the southern part of Ginunngagap was clear on account of the sparks and molten flecks flying from Muspell. Third assesses that "just as from Niflheim there was coldness and all things grim, so what was facing close to Muspell was hot and bright, but Ginunngagap was as mild as a windless sky". Third adds that when the rime and hot air met, it thawed and dripped, the liquid intensely dropped; this liquid fell into the shape of a man, so he was named Ymir and known among the jötnar as Aurgelmir, all
Poetic Edda is the modern attribution for an unnamed collection of Old Norse anonymous poems, different from the Edda written by Snorri Sturluson. Several versions exist, all of text from the Icelandic medieval manuscript known as the Codex Regius; the Codex Regius is arguably the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends. From the early 19th century onwards, it has had a powerful influence on Scandinavian literatures. Not only by its stories, but by the visionary force and the dramatic quality of many of the poems, it has become an inspiring model for many innovations in poetic meter in Nordic languages, offering many varied examples of terse, stress-based metrical schemes that lack any final rhyme by instead using alliterative devices and strongly-concentrated imagery. Poets who have acknowledged their debt to the Codex Regius include Vilhelm Ekelund, August Strindberg, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ezra Pound, Jorge Luis Borges, Karin Boye. Codex Regius was written in the 13th century, but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643, when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson Bishop of Skálholt.
At the time, versions of the Edda were known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda, an Elder Edda, which contained the pagan poems that Snorri quotes in his Edda. When Codex Regius was discovered, it seemed that the speculation had proved, but modern scholarly research has shown that Edda was written first and the two were, at most, connected by a common source. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr the Learned, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest; that attribution is rejected by modern scholars, but the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes associated with both the "Codex Regius" and versions of "Poetic Edda" using it as a source. Bishop Brynjólfur sent Codex Regius as a present to the Danish king. For centuries, it was stored in the Royal Library in Copenhagen but in 1971, it was returned to Iceland; the Eddic poems are composed in alliterative verse. Most are in fornyrðislag; the rest, about a quarter, are composed in ljóðaháttr. The language of the poems is clear and unadorned.
Kennings are employed, though they do not arise as nor are they as complex, as those found in skaldic poetry. Like most early poetry, the Eddic poems were minstrel poems, passing orally from singer to singer and from poet to poet for centuries. None of the poems are attributed to a particular author, though many of them show strong individual characteristics and are to have been the work of individual poets. Scholars sometimes speculate on hypothetical authors, but firm and accepted conclusions have never been reached; the dating of the poems has been a source of lively scholarly argument for a long time, firm conclusions are hard to reach. Lines from the Eddic poems sometimes appear in poems by known poets, but such evidence is difficult to evaluate. For example, Eyvindr skáldaspillir composed in the latter half of the 10th century, he uses a couple of lines in his Hákonarmál which are found in Hávamál, it is possible that he was quoting a known poem, but it is possible that Hávamál, or at least the strophe in question, is the younger derivative work.
The few demonstrably historical characters mentioned in the poems, such as Attila, provide a terminus post quem of sorts. The dating of the manuscripts themselves provides a more useful terminus ante quem. Individual poems have individual clues to their age. For example, Atlamál hin groenlenzku is claimed by its title to have been composed in Greenland, seems so by some internal evidence. If so, it can be no earlier than about 985, since there were no Scandinavians in Greenland until that time. In some cases, old poems may have been merged with other poems. For example, stanzas 9-16 of Völuspá, the "Dvergatal" or "Roster of Dwarfs", is considered by some scholars to be an interpolation; the problem of dating the poems is linked with the problem of finding out. Iceland was not settled until about 870, so anything composed before that time would have been elsewhere, most in Scandinavia. Any young poems, on the other hand, are Icelandic in origin. Scholars have attempted to localize individual poems by studying the geography and fauna to which they refer.
This approach does not yield firm results. For example, there are no wolves in Iceland, but we can be sure that Icelandic poets were familiar with the species; the apocalyptic descriptions of Völuspá have been taken as evidence that the poet who composed it had seen a volcanic eruption in Iceland - but this is hardly certain. Some poems similar to those found in Codex Regius are included in some editions of the Poetic Edda. Important manuscripts include AM 748 I Hauksbók and Flateyjarbók. Many of the poems are quoted in Snorri's Edda, but only in bits and pieces. What poems are included in an edition of the Poetic Edda depends on the editor; those not in Codex Regius are sometimes called Eddica minora, from their appearance in an edition with that title edited by Andreas Heusler and Wilhelm Ranisch in 1903. English translators are not consistent on the translations of the names of the Eddic poems or on how the Old Norse forms should be rendered in English. Up to three translated titles are given below, taken from the translations of Bellows and Larrington with proper names in the normalized English forms found in John Lindow's Norse Mythology and in Andy Orchard's Cassell's Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend.