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Body of ancient Icelandic literature. Contained in two 13th-century books, it is the fullest and most detailed source for modern knowledge of Germanic mythology. The Prose Edda (Younger Edda, or Snorra-Edda; c. 1222), a handbook on poetics by Snorri Sturluson, explains diction and metre in skaldic and Eddic poetry and recounts tales from Norse mythology. The Poetic Edda (Elder Edda, or Sæmundar Edda; c. 1250–1300) is a collection of mythological and heroic poems of unknown authorship composed c. 800–1100. These austere lays are the oldest surviving antecedents of the Nibelungenlied legends.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Edda, visit Britannica.com.
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