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And Fimbultyr said: Let Ymer be slain and let order be established. And straightway Odin and his brothers−−−the bright sons of Bure−−−gave Ymer a mortal. Utrecht Manuscript of the Prose Edda, ed. Anthony Faulkes, Copenhagen. ( Early Icelandic Manuscripts in Facsimile XV). Th: Thott 4to, Royal Library. The Younger Edda (also called Snorre's Edda, or the Prose Edda), of which we now have the pleasure of presenting our readers an English version, contains.

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Prose Edda Pdf

Syioy^a 'ot u.v\-u, c^^vx -^.v- THE PROSE EDDA BY SNORRI STURLUSON a TRANSLATED FROM THE ICELANDIC WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ARTHUR . The Prose Edda is a text on Old Norse Poetics, written about by the .. Snorri's familiarity with the Elder or Poetic Edda is demonstrated by his frequent. Translating the Poetic Edda into English 21 TRANSLATING THE POETIC EDDA INTO ENGLISH1 CAROLYNE LARRINGTON Early Knowledge of Norse.

Etymology[ edit ] The etymology of "Edda" remains uncertain; there are many hypotheses, but little agreement. Some argue that the word derives from the name of Oddi , a town in the south of Iceland where Snorri was raised. Edda could therefore mean "book of Oddi. Faulkes in his English translation of the Prose Edda commented that this is "unlikely, both in terms of linguistics and history " [3] since Snorri was no longer living at Oddi when he composed his work. That is, with the same meaning, the name of a character in the Rigsthula and other medieval texts. It relies on the fact that the word "kredda" meaning "belief" is certified and comes from the Latin "credo", "I believe. Edda in this case could be translated as "Poetic Art". This is the meaning that the word was then given in the Middle Ages. Manuscripts[ edit ] The likely stemma of Snorra Edda, considering only the main source of each manuscript. No one manuscript is complete, and each has variations.

My translation appeared in Like Auden and Taylor, I made no statement about my aims in the translation, beyond discussing metre.


There are few kennings or complex metaphors. Early translators, as we have seen, were constrained by the serial and slow publication of the three volumes of the Copenhagen Edda. By the time Thorpe came to make his version, the German philological revolu- tion meant that a better understanding of Old Norse, and a scholarly edition with useful apparatus, were available to him. Rhyming verse is favoured by Cottle and Herbert; Cottle tends to expand each individual Norse line into at least a couplet.

Later translators prefer longer or shorter lines of prose, sometimes arranged as verse, or free verse, either imitating the half-line structure in rhythmic terms, or expanding it further. They must also decide how far the alliteration of the original is to be imitated. This will throw up the problem of the relative lack of synonyms in English, and invites the use of Latinate words or archaisms to fill the gap.

The adoption of rhyming couplets is not always successful. Mark the giant! Mark him well! Hear me his attendants tell! Thus thy torments I describe The furies in my breast subside. The temptation to reproduce exactly the Norse alliteration may produce over-emphatic lines: Thorpe keeps the words in their Icelandic forms, accentuating their strangeness by keeping the Icelandic orthography: Bellows is particularly concerned with retaining the rhythm of the different metres, the characteristics of which he describes in detail , xxiii—xxvi , an effort which Terry explicitly eschews.

Their version of the curse Skm 35 has a pounding, hypnotic beat , Hrimgrimnir shall have you, the hideous troll, Beside the doors of the dead, Under the tree-roots ugly scullions Pour you the piss of goats; Nothing else shall you ever drink, Never what you wish, Ever what I wish. I score troll-runes, then I score three letters, Filth, frenzy, lust: I can score them off as I score them on, If I find sufficient cause.

The Younger Edda; Also called Snorre's Edda, or The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

The late nineteenth century brings a heightened philological aware- ness. Bayard is a generic Middle English term for a well-bred horse. Cottle shows no sensitivity to the question of the appropriateness of Latinate or Romance diction: Herbert makes a point of avoiding Latin-derived words where he can, though he etymologizes freely in his Introduction. The language of romance is also difficult: Sex will always raise difficulties; incestuous sex is even trickier.

The fart that results when Freyja is discovered in flagrante with her brother is first noted by Bellows , Scatology predictably causes problems. This proves too much for Cottle: Insult is hard too: It is the older translators who excel here: Some translators seize the opportunity for a witty idiomatic rendering. Hon scell um hlaut fyr scillinga tempts some translators to try to reproduce the jingle of scell and scillinga.

In stanza 13, problems of divine dignity are encountered. Thus far I have mostly considered the mythological poetry, since the earliest translators were most interested in the mythological parallels with the Greek. The Victorian translators strive more for effect than for clarity; Auden is oddly literal and unpoetic in these last versions, while Dronke very often finds the mot juste, creating a series of images which are coherent in their implications.

Space permits only one example: Dronke , The stout-hearted king stroked his beard, And laughed grimly, aggressive from wine; He shook his locks, looked at his shield, And twirled the golden goblet he held.

Auden and Taylor , Auden and Taylor and I chose to mix the translation of the more perspicuous names with the retention in the original form of those whose meaning is obscure. Hollander , xxix comments sagely that the matter presents a knotty problem to the translator. Ingeniously she manages to keep some of the internal rhymes: Translators have also to make decisions about the fidelity with which they render word order.

The Norse case system allows inversion of sub- ject and object as modern English does not; confusion can sometimes arise when the Norse syntax is imitated too literally. The latter also elaborate the divination-twigs as rune-carving on wood, which is not what the text says. Translators ought to articulate to themselves and to their readers what prejudices and predi- lections they bring to the project.

It is both salutary and educational to read earlier versions: Bibliography Auden, W. Taylor and Peter H.

Salus, trans. The Elder Edda: A Selection. Auden, W. Taylor, trans. Norse Poems.

The Younger Edda; Also called Snorre's Edda, or The Prose Edda by Snorri Sturluson

Bartholin[us], Thomas Antiquitatum Danicarum de causis contemptae a Danis adhuc gentilibus mortis. Bellows, Henry A. The Poetic Edda. Oddi was a settlement in the southwest of Iceland, certainly the home of Snorri Sturluson for many years, and, traditionally at least, also the home of Smund the Wise. That Snorris work should have been called The Book of Oddi is altogether reasonable, for such a method of naming books was common witness the Book of the Flat Island and other early manuscripts.

That Smund may also have written or compiled another Oddi-Book is perfectly possible, and that tradition should have said he did so is entirely natural.

Meaning of "Prose Edda" in the English dictionary

It is, however, an open question whether or not Smund had anything to do with making the collection, or any part of it, now known as the Poetic Edda, for of course the seventeenth-century assignment of the work to him is negligible. We can say only that he may have made some such compilation, for he was a diligent student of Icelandic tradition and history, and was famed throughout the North for his learning.

But otherwise no trace of his works survives, and as he was educated in Paris, it is probable that he wrote rather in Latin than in the vernacular. All that is reasonably certain is that by the middle or last of the twelfth century there existed in Iceland one or more written collections of Old Norse mythological and heroic poems, that the Codex Regius, a copy made a hundred years or so later, represents at least General Introduction a considerable part of one of these, and that the collection of thirty-four poems which we now know as the Poetic or Elder Edda is practically all that has come down to us of Old Norse poetry of this type.

Anything more is largely guesswork, and both the name of the compiler and the meaning of the title Edda are conjectural. The origin of the Eddic poems There is even less agreement about the birthplace, authorship and date of the Eddic poems themselves than about the nature of the existing collection.

Clearly the poems were the work of many different men, living in different periods; clearly, too, most of them existed in oral tradition for generations before they were committed to writing.

In general, the mythological poems seem strongly marked by pagan sincerity, although efforts have been made to prove them the results of deliberate archaizing; and as Christianity became generally accepted throughout the Norse world early in the eleventh century, it seems altogether likely that most of the poems dealing with the gods definitely antedate the year The earlier terminus is still a matter of dispute.

The general weight of critical opinion, based chiefly on the linguistic evidence presented by Hoffory, Finnur Jonsson and others, has indicated that the poems did not assume anything closely analogous to their present forms prior to the ninth century.

On the other hand, Magnus Olsens interpretation of the inscriptions on the Eggjum Stone, which he places as early as the seventh century, have led so competent a scholar as Birger Nerman to say that we may be warranted in concluding that some of the Eddic poems may have originated, wholly or partially, in the second part of the seventh century.

As for the poems belonging to the hero cycles, one or two of them appear to be as late as , but most of them probably date back at least to the century and a half following It is a reasonable guess that the years between and saw the majority of the Eddic poems worked into definite shape, but it must be remembered that many changes took place during the long subsequent period of oral transmission, and also that many of the legends, both mythological and heroic, on which the poems were based certainly existed in the Norse regions, and quite possibly in verse form, long before the year As to the origin of the legends on which the poems are based, the whole question, at least so far as the stories of the gods are concerned, is much too complex for discussion here.

How much of the actual narrative material of the mythological lays is properly to be called Scandinavian is a matter for students of comparative mythology to guess at. The tales underlying the heroic lays are clearly of foreign origin: the Helgi story comes from Denmark, and that of Vlund from Germany, as also the great mass of traditions centering around Sigurth Siegfried , Brynhild, the sons of Gjuki, Atli Attila , and Jormunrek Ermanarich.

The introductory notes to the various poems deal with the more important of these questions of origin. Of the men who composed these poems wrote is obviously the wrong word we know absolutely nothing, save that some of them must have been literary artists with a high degree of conscious skill. The Eddic poems are folk-poetry, whatever that may be, only in the sense that some of them strongly reflect racial feelings and beliefs; they are anything but crude or primitive in workmanship, and they show that General Introduction not only the poets themselves, but also many of their hearers, must have made a careful study of the art of poetry.

The Prose Edda: Norse Mythology (Penguin Classics) | ZODML

Where the poems were shaped is equally uncertain. Any date prior to would normally imply an origin on the mainland, but the necessarily fluid state of oral tradition made it possible for a poem to be composed many times over, and in various and far-separated places, without altogether losing its identity. Thus, even if a poem first assumed something approximating its present form in Iceland in the tenth century, it may none the less embody language characteristic of Norway two centuries earlier.

Oral poetry has always had an amazing preservative power over language, and in considering the origins of such poems as these, we must cease thinking in terms of the printing-press, or even in those of the scribe. The claims of Norway as the birthplace of most of the Eddic poems have been extensively advanced, but the great literary activity of Iceland after the settlement of the island by Norwegian emigrants late in the ninth century makes the theory of an Icelandic home for many of the poems appear plausible.

The two Atli lays, with what authority we do not know, bear in the Codex Regius the superscription the Greenland poem, and internal evidence suggests that this statement may be correct. Certainly in one poem, the Rigsthula, and probably in several others, there are marks of Celtic influence.

During a considerable part of the ninth and tenth centuries, Scandinavians were active in Ireland and in most of the western islands inhabited by branches of the Celtic race. Some scholars have, indeed, claimed nearly all the Eddic poems for these Western Isles.

However, as Iceland early came to be the true cultural center of this Scandinavian island world, it may be said that the preponderant evidence concerning the development of the Eddic poems in anything like their present form points in that direction, and certainly it was in Iceland that they were chiefly preserved. The Edda and Old Norse literature Within the proper limits of an introduction it would be impossible to give any adequate summary of the history and literature with which the Eddic poems are indissolubly connected, but a mere mention of a few of the salient facts may be of some service to those who are unfamiliar with the subject.

Old Norse literature covers approximately the period between and During the first part of that period occurred the great wanderings of the Scandinavian peoples, and particularly the Norwegians. A convenient date to remember is that of the sea-fight of Hafrsfjord, , when Harald the Fair-Haired broke the power of the independent Norwegian nobles, and made himself overlord of nearly all the country. Many of the defeated nobles fled overseas, where inviting refuges had been found for them by earlier wanderers and plunder-seeking raiders.

This was the time of the inroads of the dreaded Northmen in France, and in Hrolf Gangr Rollo laid siege to Paris itself. Many Norwegians went to Ireland, where their compatriots had already built Dublin, and where they remained in control of most of the island till Brian Boru shattered their power at the battle of Clontarf in Of all the migrations, however, the most important were those to Iceland.

Here grew up an active civilization, fostered by absolute independence and by remoteness from the wars which wracked Norway, yet kept from degenerating into provincialism by the roving General Introduction life of the people, which brought them constantly in contact with the culture of the South.

Christianity, introduced throughout the Norse world about the year , brought with it the stability of learning, and the Icelanders became not only the makers but also the students and recorders of history. The years between and were the great spontaneous period of oral literature.

Most of the military and political leaders were also poets, and they composed a mass of lyric poetry concerning the authorship of which we know a good deal, and much of which has been preserved. Narrative prose also flourished, for the Icelander had a passion for story-telling and story-hearing. After came the day of the writers. These sagamen collected the material that for generations had passed from mouth to mouth, and gave it permanent form in writing.

The greatest bulk of what we now have of Old Norse literature and the published part of it makes a formidable library originated thus in the earlier period before the introduction of writing, and was put into final shape by the scholars, most of them Icelanders, of the hundred years following After came a rapid and tragic decline.

Copenhagen: Gads, De islandske grammatiks historie til o. Historisk-filologiske Meddelelser Copenhagen: Levin and Munksgaard, Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning.

Copenhagen: Villadsen and Christensen, Photographic reprint Copenhagen: Rosenkilde and Bagger, Altnordische Saga-Bibliothek 3. Bogi Th.

Grammatik for det islandske oldsprog. Copenhagen: Thieles bogtrykkeri, Copenhagen: Samfund til udgivelse af gammel nordisk litteratur, Copenhagen: Bianco Lunos, Ordbog til de af Samfund til udg. Snorra Edda Sturlusonar. Copenhagen: Gyldendalske boghandel and Nordisk forlag, Florence: The Florentine Typographical Society, Samnlung kurzer Grammatiken germanischer Dialekte. Wilhelm Braune. Halle: Niemeyer; Leiden: Brill, Kiel: Kiel University, Halle: Verlag der Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses, Leipzig: Hinrichs, Altnordische Heilkunde.

Haarlem: Bohn, Altfriesisches Lesebuch mit Grammatik und Glossar. Heidelberg: Carl Winter,

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