Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Vafþrúðnismál and Grímnismál: Cosmic History, Cosmic Geography

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Larrington VafGrim-libre
Larrington VafGrim-libre
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Date:August 14, 2014
Óðinn is the protagonist of both these poems, which follow Hávamál in the Codex Regius. In Vafþrúðnismál he visits teh giant Vafþrúðnir in disguise to compete with him in a wisdom-contest in which the stake is the loser´s head.  Once he has established (by posing some questions about mythological facts) that Óðinn is a worthy opponent, the giant accepts the challenge.  Óðinn interrogates him at length until, perhaps having gained the information he sought (how he will die at ragna röc), he terminates the contest by putting a question to which only he and his son Baldr can know the answer.  Vafþrúðnir must admit defeat.  The poem is composed in ljóðaháttr, the meter of wisdom dialogues, and is often considered to be among the older poems in the Edda.

Originally Published:

(2002). The Poetic Edda: Essays on Old Norse Mythology.P. Acker and C. Larrington (eds.). Routledge.

Carolyne Larrington: