There are two religious codes, so called, containing the ancient Scandinavian mythology. One is in verse, composed in Iceland in the eleventh century by Sæmund Sigfusson, the Sage; and the other in prose, compiled a century later by Snorri Sturleson, who wrote a commentary on the first edda. The poetical edda contains an account of creation, the history of Odin, Thor, Freyr, Balder, etc., etc. The prose one contains the exploits of such conquerors as Voelsung, Sigurd, Attle, etc., and is divided into several parts. The first part contains historical and mythological traditions; the second a long poetical vocabulary; and the third Scandinavian prosody, or the modes of composition adopted by the ancient Skalds. The poetical compilation is generally called Sæmund's Edda, and the prose one Snorri's Edda.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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