Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Edda

The Prose Edda, at first simply called Edda, was composed by Snorri Sturluson, an Icelandic scholar. The title was changed from Edda to Prose Edda to differentiate between the Poetic Edda, from an anonymous author. Both works contain Old Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends, and both were written around the same time, somewhere between 985 and 1600 AD, but Poetic Edda came first, as the Prose Edda cites parts of it. The Poetic Edda comes from a medieval Icelandic manuscript called Codex Regius. J.R.R. Tolkien and Ezra Pound are just two authors who claimed to have used the Poetic Edda as style inspiration for their work. Both works showcased things like skaldic tradition, poetic meter, alliterative verse, and strong imagery. The stories deal with gods, princes, the history of the universe, and it sometimes reads like a history or guide.

Edda has a few different meanings. The one most closely linked to the books is Old Norse, and it could mean "great grandmother," or "poetry." As the books have Germanic ties, that meaning could be "inheritance." However, it is now widely accepted that edda was taken from a Latin phrase meaning "I compose [poetry]" specifically for the title, even though some still believe the author chose Edda because it was the possesive of Oddi, where he lived. In the poem Rigsmaal, contained within the book, Edda is definitely used as "great grandmother." To use Edda as a baby name, you would have to be familiar with the works.

The Edda Awards, are the Icelandic TV and movie awards. Also, Audrey Hepburn's name was Edda Kathleen van Heemstra (her mother's maiden name) during the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II and changed it back in 1945.

In 2011 there were 22 girls named Eda (most likely pronounced EE-da, as a variant of Edith or Edna) but there were none named Edda in the U.S.

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