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Skaldisch each Norse seal that do not (like the Eddic ) mythical or heroic traditions discussed: it relates entirely to the presence of the author and his audience. An exact definition of the Skaldic is made difficult by the fact that, unlike the Eddic poetry, there are no contemporary collections. A large part of the skald strophes known today consists of scattered quotations in Old Norse prose texts such as the Icelandic saga Egils saga Skallagrímssonar .

Skaldic poems are subjectively designed compositions that take their material from the life and social environment of their poet, the skald : they are situation-bound social poetry . Like the Eddic stanzas, the Scaldic stanzas are also of an unepic character. The skaldic poem is strophic, while the Germanic hero poetry was originally composed unstrophic.

The most important genres are the price song and everyday poetry . The authors of the skaldic poetry are handed down together with their work. The oldest skald poetry is ascribed to the skald Bragi Boddason , who is said to have lived in Norway in the 9th century. In addition to a few lausavísur (loose stanzas), about 20 stanzas and semi-stanzas of his shield poem Ragnarsdrápa have been preserved from Bragi . His fame and influence was so great that later authors and poets, such as Snorri Sturluson in Gylfaginning 25, considered him to be one of the Aesir . Younger Edda songs such as Grímnismál and Lokasenna also counted him among the Norse gods.

Linguistically and metrically, the style of the Skaldendicht is artistic, deliberately stylized and poetic.


  • Andreas Heusler : The old Germanic poetry. Darmstadt 1957.
  • Robert Nedoma : Small grammar of old Icelandic. Heidelberg 2010.
  • Alfred Noreen: Old Icelandic grammar. Hall 1903.
  • Friedrich Ranke : Old Norse elementary book. Leipzig 1937.
  • Klaus von See : Germanic poetry. Stuttgart 1967.
  • Heiko Uecker : History of Old Norse Literature. Stuttgart 2004.
  • Jan de Vries : Old Norse literary history. Berlin 1964–1967.

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