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Ragnarsdrápa

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Title: Ragnarsdrápa  
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Subject: Brísingamen, Bragi, Elf, Fenrir, Hel (being), Ragnar Lodbrok, Þrúðr, Skald, Gylfi, Bragi Boddason
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Ragnarsdrápa

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]

References

External links

  • 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
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