Saturday, November 19, 2011


Idun and Bragi

Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry in Norse mythology.

Bragi is generally associated with bragr, the Norse word for poetry. The name of the god may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragr may have been formed to describe 'what Bragi does'. A connection between the name Bragi and English brego 'chieftain' has been suggested but is generally now discounted. A connection between Bragi and the bragarfull 'promise cup' is sometimes suggested, as bragafull, an alternate form of the word, might be translated as 'Bragi's cup'.

Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing Odin, Thor, and Baldr:

One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr, and from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Iðunn.

In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes:

How should one periphrase Bragi? By calling him husband of Iðunn, first maker of poetry, and the long-bearded god (after his name, a man who has a great beard is called Beard-Bragi), and son of Odin.

That Bragi is Odin's son is clearly mentioned only here and in some versions of a list of the sons of Odin (see Sons of Odin). But "wish-son" in stanza 16 of the Lokasenna could mean "Odin's son" and is translated by Hollander as Odin's kin. Bragi's mother is never named. If Bragi's mother is Frigg, then Frigg is somewhat dismissive of Bragi in the Lokasenna in stanza 27 when Frigg complains that if she had a son in Ægir's hall as brave as Baldr then Loki would have to fight for his life.

In that poem Bragi at first forbids Loki to enter the hall but is overruled by Odin. Loki then gives a greeting to all gods and goddesses who are in the hall save to Bragi. Bragi generously offers his sword, horse, and an arm ring as peace gift but Loki only responds by accusing Bragi of cowardice, of being the most afraid to fight of any of the Æsir and Elves within the hall. Bragi responds that if they were outside the hall, he would have Loki's head, but Loki only repeats the accusation. When Bragi's wife Iðunn attempts to calm Bragi, Loki accuses her of embracing her brother's slayer, a reference to matters that have not survived. It may be that Bragi had slain Iðunn's brother.

A passage in the Poetic Edda poem Sigrdrífumál describes runes being graven on the sun, on the ear of one of the sun-horses and on the hoofs of the other, on Sleipnir's teeth, on bear's paw, on eagle's beak, on wolf's claw, and on several other things including on Bragi's tongue. Then the runes are shaved off and the shavings are mixed with mead and sent abroad so that Æsir have some, Elves have some, Vanir have some, and Men have some, these being beech runes and birth runes, ale runes, and magic runes. The meaning of this is obscure.

The first part of Snorri Sturluson's Skáldskaparmál is a dialogue between Ægir and Bragi about the nature of poetry, particularly skaldic poetry. Bragi tells the origin of the mead of poetry from the blood of Kvasir and how Odin obtained this mead. He then goes on to discuss various poetic metaphors known as kennings.

Snorri Sturluson clearly distinguishes the god Bragi from the mortal skald Bragi Boddason whom he often mentions separately. Bragi Boddason is discussed below. The appearance of Bragi in the Lokasenna indicates that if these two Bragis were originally the same, they have become separated for that author also, or that chronology has become very muddled and Bragi Boddason has been relocated to mythological time. Compare the appearance of the Welsh Taliesin in the second branch of the Mabinogi. Legendary chronology sometimes does become muddled. Whether Bragi the god originally arose as a deified version of Bragi Boddason was much debated in the 19th century, especially by the German scholars Eugen Mogk and Sophus Bugge. The debate remains undecided.

In the poem Eiríksmál Odin, in Valhalla, hears the coming of the dead Norwegian king Eric Bloodaxe and his host, and bids the heroes Sigmund and Sinfjötli rise to greet him. Bragi is then mentioned, questioning how Odin knows that it is Eric and why Odin has let such a king die. In the poem Hákonarmál, Hákon the Good is taken to Valhalla by the valkyrie Göndul and Odin sends Hermóðr and Bragi to greet him. In these poems Bragi could be either a god or a dead hero in Valhalla. Attempting to decide is further confused because Hermóðr also seems to be sometimes the name of a god and sometimes the name of a hero. That Bragi was also the first to speak to Loki in the Lokasenna as Loki attempted to enter the hall might be a parallel. It might have been useful and customary that a man of great eloquence and versed in poetry should greet those entering a hall.

From: Wiki
In the Norse cosmology, just as the high one Odin is the most holy of gods, and the rainbow bridge to Asgard, Bifrost, is the best of bridges, so too is the god Bragi named the best of skalds. (1) In fact, his words are filled with such power that it is said runes are inscribed upon his tongue. (2) In Gylfaginning, "High" (the enthroned king, Odin) says that Bragi is "renowned for wisdom and... for eloquence and command of language. Especially he is knowledgeable about poetry, and because of him poetry is called brag, and from his name a person is said to be a brag [chief] of men or women who has eloquence beyond others.(3) Bragr as an adjective also means first or best, and our modern English word brag (someone who speaks excessively of her/his deeds or possessions) may derive from this earlier meaning of a person who speaks eloquently.(4)

Unlike many other gods, we know that the god Bragi may have once been a mortal man, or at the least had a very notable namesake, in the early ninth century.(5) It may be this Bragi who instructs the reader of Skaldskaparmal in the art of skaldic poetic verse and of the metaphoric poetic devices called kennings. There is also a Bragi, perhaps the same, who sits in Valholl (Odin's "hall of slain warriors") among the other great heroes Sigmundr and Sinfjotli and welcomes Eirikr Bloodaxe ("Erik the Red" of Icelandic history) in Eiriksmal, and in Lokasenna ("the flyting of Loki") it is Bragi who trades insults with Loki and warns him of the Aesir's wrath.(6)


From: Here
God of poetry. Bragi was the son of Odin and the giantess Gunnlod. Bragi married to Idun, the goddess of spring and youth. Bragi was also the god of eloquence.

Bragi was one of the speakers (the other was Aegir) in the dialogue in Snorri's Edda, called Skaldskaparmal ("Language of Poetry"), which related to many tales of the Aesir and mankind.

Bragi was referred to as the long-bearded As.

From: here
The god of eloquence and poetry, and the patron of skalds (poets) in Norse mythology. He is regarded as a son of Odin and Frigg. Runes were carved on his tongue and he inspired poetry in humans by letting them drink from the mead of poetry. Bragi is married to Idun, the goddess of eternal youth. Oaths were sworn over the Bragarfull ("Cup of Bragi"), and drinks were taken from it in honor of a dead king. Before a king ascended the throne, he drank from such a cup.

From: here
Bragi was the god of poerty and rhetoric.
He was the son of Odin and the giantess Gunnlöd.
His wife was Iduna, the goddess of eternal youth.

Bragi was represented as an old man with long beard, who receipted the Einherjar at the gates of Valhalla.

He was a poetic god, who didn't fought. This was a good reason for Loki to make him over (Lokasenna). But in general, he was popular with the other gods.

The Skáldskaparmál begins with a dialogue between Aegir and Bragi. Then Bragi tells a lot of mythological stories and made a survey of kennings of various things (see Skáldskaparmál).

Bragi was the son of Halfdan and Alvig. He was the ancestor of the Bragnings.
According to the Poetic Edda, he was the son of Halfdan and Thora.

Bragi was the son of king Hogni and brother of Sigrun and Dag.
He and his father were killed at Frekastein.
Poetic Edda: Völundarkviða In Forna (Helgaviða Hundingsbana II)

Bragi was a legendary king, mentioned in the Skáldskaparmál.
He was travelling through a forest and met a troll-woman, who asked him who passed. He answered:

"Skalds do call me
Vidurr's Shape-Smith,
Gautr's Gift-Finder,
Bard not faulty,
Yggr's Ale-Bearer,
Song's Arrayer,
Skilled Smith of Verse:
What is the Skald but this?"

(Prose Edda: Skáldskaparmál LXVII)

From: here
Also see:
An article
Poems/hymns/prayers written to him
Idun {Goddess Of The Week}

ETA: Bragi's Shrine -- has articles, prayers, info, etc

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