World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article


Article Id: WHEBN0002035155
Reproduction Date:

Title: Ragnarsdrápa  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Brísingamen, Bragi, Elf, Fenrir, Hel (being), Ragnar Lodbrok, Þrúðr, Skald, Gylfi, Bragi Boddason
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia


One of the decorations on Ragnarr's shield probably showed Thor's fishing trip. This illustration of the scene is from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.

Ragnarsdrápa is a skaldic poem said to have been composed in honour of the Scandinavian hero, Ragnar Lodbrok, but likely actually addressed to some later Ragnar.[1] It is attributed to the oldest known skald, Bragi Boddason, who lived in the 9th century, and was composed for the Swedish king Björn at Haugi.[2] Bragi describes the images on a decorated shield which Ragnar had given to him. The images included:

The extant fragments of Ragnarsdrápa are preserved in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda.[3] The episodes of Hamdir and Sorli and Heðinn and Hǫgni are explicitly ascribed to Ragnarsdrápa while the other parts are inferred by scholars to belong to the same poem, describing the images on the four quarters of the shield, in four stanzas each with, presumably, a lost refrain.[3]

The poem is often compared with Húsdrápa and Haustlöng, which also describe artworks depicting mythological scenes. Like Haustlöng, it uses archaic and complex kennings in a manner which strains the syntax.[4] Although the dróttkvætt metre violates some of the rules developed later, it is well executed; this and the complexity of language demonstrate that there had already been considerable development of skaldic verse.[5]


  1. ^ Vésteinn Ólason, "Old Icelandic Poetry", in A History of Icelandic Literature, ed. Daisy Neijmann, Histories of Scandinavian Literature 5, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, Lincoln, Nebraska: University of Nebraska, 2006, ISBN 9780803233461, pp. 1–63, p. 28.
  2. ^ "Sweden", Encyclopædia Britannica 1911 ed.
  3. ^ a b Lee M. Hollander, The Skalds: A Selection of Their Poems, With Introduction and Notes, The American-Scandinavian Foundation, 1945, repr. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University, 1947, OCLC 66725164, pp. 25–26.
  4. ^ Vésteinn, p. 32.
  5. ^ Hollander, p. 26.

External links

  • Ragnarsdrápa in Old Norse in Finnur Jónsson's edition, at Kulturformidlingen norrøne tekster og kvad, Norway.
  • Two editions of the original text
  • The first two half-stanzas read aloud
  • Translation and discussion of six half-stanzas
This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from Project Gutenberg are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.