Hrafnagaldur Óðins
eða Forspjallsljóð

Odin's Raven-Magic or Preface Song
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Heimdall, Loki and Bragi plead with Idunn
Line drawing by Lorenz Frølich

 
 
  Manuscripts:

Five manuscripts have independent textual value, A, B, C, D, and E.

From the B Group:

Lbs 966 4to - Poetry, Songs, and Genealogy, written by three hands c. 1750-1799
Lbs 1588 4to written c. 1770 mainly by Halldór Hjálmarsson
Lbs 1689 4to written by Sæmundar Hólm 1749-1821

Manuscripts derived from printed books:

ÍBR 24 8vo written 1840, a copy of Hallgrímur Scheving's edition of 1837.
 
  Icelandic Texts:

1787 Edda Rhythmica seu Antiqvior vulgo Sæmundina Dicta Par I., Gudbrandr Magnusson,
Hrafna-Galdr Óðins (The first publication of the poem; includes a Latin translation)

1818 Rasmus Rask and Arvid August Afzelius. Edda Sæmundar hinns Fróða: Collectio Carminum Verterum Scaldorum Sæmundina Dicta, Hrafnagaldur Óðins
 
1832 Sveinbjörn Egilsson Ólafs drápa Tryggvasonar er  Hallfreðr orti vandræðaskáld (Hrafnagaldur Óðins p. 24)

1837 Hallgrímur Scheving, Forspiallslióþ (handwritten copy of the published manuscript)


1847 Peter Andreas Munch, Den Ældre Edda, Hrafnagaldr Óðins

1859 Hermann Lüning, Edda: eine Sammlung altnordischer Götter- und Heldenlieder, Hrafnagaldr Odhins
   † Introduction in English

1860 Theodor Möbius, Edda Saemundar hins fróða,  Hrafnagaldr Óðins

1867 Sophus Bugge, Norrœnn Fornkvæði, Forspjallsljóð eða Hrafnagaldr Óðins [etext][notes]
       
See Scholarship below

1998 Eysteinn Björnsson and William P. Reaves, "Hrafnagaldur Óðins" Critical Old Icelandic text with English translation with commentary (Original Site)

2011 Annette Lassen, "
Hrafna Galdur OÞins/ Forspialls Liod", pp. 82-94 contains a critical Old Icelandic text with English translation. Each stanza of the text also has a version in prose word order.  [Download from the Viking Society for Northern Research].
          See Scholarship below
 
  Translations:

Danish Translations

1821 Finnur Magnusen, Den Ældre Edda, Odins Ravnes Sang eller Fortale-Diget [Introduction in English]
1860 En Lægmand Ravnegalderet eller Forsagnssangen

English Translations

1797 Amos Cottle, Icelandic Poetry or The Edda of Sæmund, "The Song of the Ravens."
Hrafnagaldur Óðins is reprinted in 1798 in The Monthly Review as part of a review on this work.


1828 Samuel Astley Dunham, original translation of Hrafnagaldur Óðins 24-25
(Reprinted in 1836).


1839 Grenville Pigot
in A Manual of Scandinavian Mythology as "Odin's Raven Song"
A synopsis and a translation of Hrafnagaldur Óðins 22, 24-26

1865 Benjamin Thorpe, Edda Sæmundar hinns Fróða,  "
Odin's Ravens' Song"

1898 Howard Isidore Stern, Gods of Our Fathers, a summary of "Odin's Raven Charm"

1985 Elsa Brita Titchenell, The Masks of Odin,  "Odens Korpgalder" (The Lay of Odin's Corpse or The Lay of Odin's Ravens): A Theosophical Interpretation

1998 Eysteinn Björnsson and William P. Reaves, "Hrafnagaldur Óðins" with commentary (Original Site)

2011 Annette Lassen, "Hrafna Galdur OÞins/ Forspialls Liod", pp. 82-94 contain a new English Translation with Old Icelandic text. Each stanza of the text also has a version in prose word order.  [Download from the Viking Society for Northern Research].
        See Scholarship below.

French Translations

1844 Rosalie du Puget in Les Eddas as "Le Poème du Corbeau d'Odin"

German Translations


1816 Frederich David Gräter, "Hrafna Galldur Oþins/ Odens Rabenbezauberung. Ein Eddisches Lied zum ersten Mal ins Teutsche," Idunna und Hermode IV. 1816, nos. 34-37. [.pdf]

1829 Gustav T. Legis, "Odins Rabenruf oder Idunns Neiderfahrt zur Hel"

1851 Karl Simrock Odhins Rabenzauber

1866 Theophil Rupp, Hrafnagaldr OdhinsGermania XI,  pp. 311-320.

1869 Ernst Brautuscheck, Odin's Rabenzauber  Prose retelling in German.

1871 Hans von Wolzogen as Vorspiel zum Ende (Forspiállsljódh oder Hrafnagaldr Odhins)

1875 Frederich Wilhelm Bergmann Der Odens Raben Orakelsang


1886 A. Rabe, Rhapsodie von der gewaltigen Schlacht Odins (Hrafnagaldr Odins), Am Urd-Brunnen. III. Bd. Nr. 9  pp. 97-101.

1889 Wilhelm Jordan, Odins Rabenzauber oder Vorkundelied, Weissagemär


Latin Translations

1787 Arna Magnæo as Corvicinium Odini

Spanish Translations


 1856 D.A. De Los Rios,  "El Poema Del Cuervo de Odin" (Hrafna-galldr Oþins) in Los Eddas
 
 2007 Claudia Guzman, El Cantico del Cuervo de Odín  

Swedish Translations

1818 Arvid August Afzelius, Odins Korpa Sång
1893 Frederik Sanders, Odens Korpgalder


Norwegian Translations

1865 V.B. Hjört, Odins Ravnegalder (at p. 326 of PDF)
 
 
   
Heimdall Demands the Release of Idunn from Hel
Sketch by Carl Emil Doepler 'The Elder'
 
  Scholarship:

An Introduction to the scholarly arguments surrounding this poem.

1867 Sophus Bugge, Norrœnn Fornkvæði
   †Argument against the poem's authenticity
   †Edition with English Translation
   †[notes]

2002 Jónas Kristjánsson. ''Hrafnagaldur Óðins - Forspjallsljóð'', Morgunblaðið, April 27, 2002. Article, edition of the poem, and commentary.

2002 Kristján Árnason ''Hljóðdvöl í Hrafnagaldri Óðins'', Morgunblaðið May 25, 2002.

2006, Annette Lassen, Hrafnagaldur Óðinn/Forspjallsljóð: An Antiquarian Poem? "Hrafnagaldur Óðins / Forspjallsljóð : et antikvarisk digt?" from the 13th International Saga Conference in The Fantastic in Old Norse/Icelandic Literature, pp. 551-560.

2007 Aðalheiður Guðmundsdóttir, The Werewolf in Medieval Icelandic Literature, Journal of English and Germanic Philology, Vol. 106:3.
 
2011 Annette Lassen, Hrafngaldur Óðins (Forspjallsljóð), Edited with introduction, notes and translation by Annette Lassen,
Viking Society For Northern Research, 120 page critical edition. Available for purchase from the Viking Society for Northern Research:  
"The introduction discusses the numerous surviving manuscripts of the poem, as well as its date, provenance and literary background, and each stanza of the text has a version in prose word order, an English translation and extensive commentary."
 
     
 

Idunn fallen from Yggdrassil
from Frederik Sanders' Edda Sämund den vises
 
 
Popular Performances:

In 2002, Icelandic pop-band Sigur Rós, producer Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson, and traditional rímur chanter Steindór Andersen produced a musical version of Hrafnagaldur Óðins performed in Reykjavik, London, and Paris. The performance was notable for its use of a giant stone marimba made of Icelandic rocks.

2002 Tom Service, ''Sigur Rós''. The Guardian, April 23, 2002. Review of Hrafnagaldur Óðins

The Theatre Program of the London performance of the work at the Barbican Centre on April 21, 2002.
The English translation of the poem by Eysteinn Björnsson and William P. Reaves is printed on page 6.

Excerpts from Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic): 

Odin's Raven Magic
Live at the Barbican Centre, London, April 21st 2002

Chapter 3: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic) 
Live at the Barbican Hall, London, April 21st 2002
More information on this piece can be found here

Chapter 4: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic) [excerpt]
Live at Laugardalshöllin, Reykjavík, May 24th 2002
More information on this piece may be found here

Chapter 4: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic)
Second performance at Siglufjördur.

Chapter 5: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic)

Chapter 6: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic) 

Chapter 7: Hrafnagaldur Óðins (Odin's Raven Magic)
Final chapter from the performance at the Barbican Centre, London, April 21, 2002

Odin's Raven Magic
Concert in la halle de la villette on Sept 28, 2004

Odin's Raven Magic
An excerpt from "Screaming Masterpiece," a 2005 documentary film


 
     
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