Word of the Day – Tuesday, September 25th



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EDDA (EH-duh)

A collection of Old Norse poems
Common clues: Snorri Sturluson work; Norse poem; Icelandic epic; Icelandic literary work; Scaldic poetry source
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Video: Who was Snorri Sturluson?

The term Edda applies to the Old Norse Poetic Edda and Prose Edda, both of which were written down in Iceland during the 13th century, although some of the poems included in them may be centuries older.

This colourful front page of the Prose Edda in an 18th century Icelandic manuscript shows Odin, Heimdallr, Sleipnir and other figures from Norse mythology.

There are a number of theories concerning the origins of the word edda. One theory holds that it is identical to the word that seems to mean "great-grandmother". Another theory holds that edda derives from Old Norse oor, "poetry." A third is that it means "the book of Oddi", Oddi being the place where Snorri Sturluson was educated.

There are two Eddas:

  • The Poetic Edda, also known as Sæmundar Edda or incorrectly as the Elder Edda. It is the newer of the two.

  • The Younger Edda or the Prose Edda. It is the older of the two.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Edda".