This is the first comprehensive and accessible survey in English of Old Norse eddic poetry: a remarkable body of literature rooted in the Viking Age, which is a critical source for the study of early Scandinavian myths, poetics, culture and society. Dramatically recreating the voices of the legendary past, eddic poems distil moments of high emotion as human heroes and supernatural beings alike grapple with betrayal, loyalty, mortality and love. These poems relate the most famous deeds of gods such as Óðinn and Þórr with their adversaries the giants; they bring to life the often fraught interactions between kings, queens and heroes as well as their encounters with valkyries, elves, dragons and dwarfs. Written by leading international scholars, the chapters in this volume showcase the poetic riches of the eddic corpus, and reveal its relevance to the history of poetics, gender studies, pre-Christian religions, art history and archaeology.
Table of Contents
Introduction Carolyne Larrington; 1. The transmission and preservation of eddic poetry Margaret Clunies Ross; 2. Traditions of eddic scholarship Joseph Harris; 3. The editing of eddic poetry Judy Quinn; 4. The dating of eddic poetry Bernt Ø. Thorvaldsen; 5. Eddic performance and eddic audiences Terry Gunnell; 6. Eddic poetry and mythology John Lindow; 7. Eddic poetry and the religion of pre-Christian Scandinavia Jens Peter Schjødt; 8. Eddic poetry and heroic legend Carolyne Larrington; 9. Place names in eddic poetry Stefan Brink and John Lindow; 10. Eddic poetry and the imagery of stone monuments Lilla Kopár; 11. Eddic poetry and archaeology John Hines; 12. Eddic modes and genres Brittany Schorn; 13. Eddic metres R. D. Fulk; 14. Eddic style Brittany Schorn; 15. Kennings and other forms of figurative language in eddic poetry Judy Quinn; 16. Alliterative lexical collocations in eddic poetry Maria Elena Ruggerini; 17. The representation of gender in eddic poetry David Clark and Jóhanna Katrín Friðriksdóttir; 18. The reception of eddic poetry Heather O'Donoghue.