"1643 AD: The bishop of Iceland, Brynjolv Sveinsson, has received into his hands an ancient leather manuscript dating back almost 500 years. The manuscript has been hidden – perhaps away from the Church authorities – for nearly 400 years. As Brynjolv slowly turns the pages made of hide, he realizes that a long lost ancestral treasure has been recovered. Ancient legends and myths speak out from the leathery pages through the almost forgotten language of poetical metaphors."
With a few exceptions, most of the poems in the manuscript were only known through hearsay, although Snorri Sturluson referred to, and quoted from them in his Prose Edda (1225 AD). Today, we know the body of mythical and legendary poems found in the hidden manuscript as the Elder, Poetic Edda.In The Seed of Yggdrasil, Kvilhaug explores the parables of the myths, revealing spiritual mysteries and metaphysical speculation at the heart of Old Norse Paganism.
Format options: Big Book 7x10, eBook, A5 compact
BIG BOOK Heritage edition 9788792632746
eBOOK The Seed of Yggdrasill 9788792632838
A5 edition 9788792632289
Maria Kvilhaug - clik to read more
The Edda poems were most probably created by Viking Age skalds who knew the art of making metaphorical riddles and how to hide messages behind words. Many poems are veritably incomprehensible without the knowledge it takes to decipher the riddles. When Snorri in the 1220's realized that young people were beginning to lose their understanding of the ancient form of Norse poetry, he wrote his book so that “young students of poetry may decipher that which has been subtly spoken”, adding that knowledge has been “cleverly disguised in runes”.
Why was the manuscript hidden throughout four centuries? What were the real messages behind Old Norse poetry? Are the Norse myths truly just funny stories about gods, trolls and giants, or do they hide some deeper insights? In The Seed of Yggdrasil, Maria Kvilhaug explores the parables of Old Norse myths, revealing spiritual mysteries and metaphysical speculation at the heart of Old Norse Paganism.
…At három þúl hleþu aldregi
opt er gott þat er gamlir qveþa;
opt or scarpom belg
scilin orð coma,
þeim er hangir meþ hám
oc skollir meþ scrám
Never laugh at the ancient Sage:
Often it is good what the old ones say;
Often from the wizened old body
wise speech issues:
They that hang among leathers
and hide between hides.
- (Hávamál – The Speech of the High One, st. 134, Poetic Edda)
." . . an outstanding text that anyone who is interested in the Old Norse Myths can delve straight into the heart of Norse Paganism and come out with a deep understanding of the whole belief system. Maria's translation and interpretations of the meanings of the Edda poems are brilliant. . ." - Jade Ashcroft 2013