Early English Translations of Eddic Poems
The Earliest English
Translations of Eddaic Poems
 
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For a Detailed History of the Earliest
Eddic Scholarship in English, See:

  
1903 Frank Edgar Farley
Scandinavian Influences in the
English Romantic Movement 

2007 Carolyne Larrington
Translating the Poetic Edda into English  

   
Also See
Foreign Language Editions & Translations of the Poetic Edda
Covering the Period from 1665 to 1927

   
  WHAT WENT BEFORE

1643
The Codex Regius Manuscript
is acquired and first recognized by
Bishop Brynjólfur Sveinsson in Skáholt, Iceland


1665 Peder Hansen Resen
Edda Islandorum 
Haavamaal
Voluspa

First publication of Snorri's Gylfaginning
with Völuspá and Hávamál
 
 
The FIRST translation
of any Eddic poem into English
:

1676 Aylett Sammes
Britannia Antiqua Illustrata
Excerpts from Hávamál (pp. 441-443) 

 

1689 Thomas Bartholin
Antiquitatum Danicarum  
Contains excerpts of several Eddic poems
including verse 13 of Gróugaldur

1746 Johannis Göransson
Edda
A facing text translation of Snorri's Gylfaginning
in  Old Icelandic and Swedish
Vaulo-spa



1756 Paul Henri Mallet
Monuments de la mythologie et de la poesie des Celtes, et particulierement des anciens Scandinaves

    Snorri's Gylfaginning in French translation

        
 
 
 
1761 Thomas Gray

Vegtam's Kivitha or The Descent of Odin
An Ode from the Norse Tongue
(Vegtamskviða from an excerpt of the poem published in
Bartholin's Antiquitatum Danicarum)


   
1763 Thomas Percy

Five Pieces of Runic Poetry
Translated from the Islandic Language


(Skaldic poems)


 
  CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH WORKS
and significant foriegn language titles
A complete list of foriegn language works can be found HERE
  
     
1770 Paul Henri Mallet
Northern Antiquities:
or, A Description of the Manners, Customs,
Religion and Law of the Ancient Danes

Vol. I
Vol. II

contains a translation of Gylfaginning
by Bishop Thomas Percy

Introduction

1775 Thomas Wharton
The History of English Poetry
Contains a prose summary of
Hákonarmál as 'The Eulogium of Hacon'


1781 Thomas James Mathias
Runic Odes

Imitated from the Norse Tongue in the Manner of Thomas Gray
 
1782 Jim Johnstone
Lodbrokar-Quida
or the Death-song of Lodbroc

1787
 Edda Saemundar hinns Fróda:
Edda rhythmica seu antiquior
The first published collection of the Eddic poems
Vafþrúdnismál, Grímnismál,  Skírnismál, Harbarðsljóð,
Hymiskviða, Lokasenna, Þrymskviða, Hrafnagaldur Óðins,
Vegtamskviða (Baldur's Dreams), Alvismál, Fjölsvinnsmál,
Hyndluljóð and Sólarljóð with facing Latin translations,
(excludes Völuspá, Hávamál and Rigþula)

 
1788 Anonymous
Review of Edda Sæmundar hinns froða
Edda Rhythmica Pars 1
The Gentleman's Magazine Vol 63, p. 139
      
 
 
1788 Anonymous
The Analytical Review
or History of Literature, Domestic and Foriegn, Vol. 2

Review of Saemundar Edda hinns Froða Vol I (1787)
Edda Rhythmica Pars 1 and
The First English Translations of
Hymis Quitha
För Skirnis
with a new translation of
Vegtams Quitha

              
 
   
CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH WORKS
and significant foriegn language titles


1790 Frank Sayers
Poems, Containing Sketches
of Northern Mythology, &c.

1790 (1st edition)
1792 (2nd edition)

1803 (3rd edition
)
1807 (4th edition)

The first collection of Eddic poems in English:

1797 Amos Cottle
Icelandic Poetry of The Edda of Sæmund
Vafthrudnismal, Grimnismal Skirnismal,
Harbardsljod, Hymiskvida, Lokasenna,
Thrymskvida, Hrafnagaldur Odins, Baldur's Dreams,
Alvismal, Fjolsvinnsmal and Hyndluljod.
This volume is a poor English translation of the Latin versions
contained in Edda Saemundar hinns fróda Volume 1 (1787)

(excluding Sólarljóð)
  
 
 
      
1798 Anonymous
The Meal of Vafthruthni (Vafþrúðnismál)
  
The 2nd English translation (after Amos Cottle)
This poem, authored by William Taylor, was reprinted
as "The Lay of Vafthrudni" with additional notes
in Taylor's 
Historic Survey of German Poetry (1830)

   
1801 John Thewall
"Notes and Illustrations of Runic Mythology"
 
1804 Nathan Drake
Literary Hours
  
 


1804 William Herbert
 Select Icelandic Poetry
Volume I
(1804)
The Song of Thrym (Þrymskviða)
 

Odin's Descent (Vegtamskviða)
(Only those verses of the poem  not translated by Thomas Gray)
 Gunlaug and Raven (An excerpt of Sólarljóð).
 

Vol. II   (1806)
Skirnir's Expedition (Skírnismál)
and Brynhilda's Ride to Hell
(Helreið Brynhildar)
 
1805
James Beresford
The Song of the Sun,
a Poem of the Eleventh Century

 
1811 Henry Holland
Travels in the Island of Iceland:
During the Summer of the Year MDCCCX (1810)   
   
1812 Dr. Henry Holland
Account of the Edda
Annual Register Vol. 53
   
 
 
1815 William Herbert
Song of Vala in Helga (appendix)
said to be the first English translation of Völuspá
but only loosely based on the poem.

  
1816 Rev. James Prowett
The Voluspa or the Speech of the Prophetess
said to be the first English translation of Völuspá,
but clearly an original poem


For a full account of Völuspá in English
See Völuspá,
A Study Guide.

1818 Henry Weber
Illustrations of Northern Antiquities
includes an English translation of the Grötti Song

1819 Ebenezer Henderson
The Voluspa or the Oracle of the Prophetess Vola
The FIRST English translation of Völuspá

1823 Sharon Turner
The History of the Anglo-Saxons
The SECOND English translation of
Völuspá


1830 William Taylor
Historic Survey of German Poetry
includes excerpts from Hávamál
and Vafþrúðnismál
(from his 1798 edition with additional notes)


   
1831 Henry Wheaton
History of the Northmen
contains excerpts of Vafthrudnismál and Hávamál

1839 Samuel Astley Dunham

History of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway

Contains summaries and excepts of Eddic poems
  
 


1839 Grenville Pigot
A Manual of Scandinavian Mythology
"Odin's Raven Song" and "Vegtams Kvida"
A synopsis and a few verses
from Hrafnagaldur Óðins and

a complete translation of Vegtamskviða


1842 William Herbert
Works Vol. I: Horæ Scandicæ
or Works Relating to Old Scandinavian Literature

contains a reissue of "Select Icelandic Poetry"
with additional Eddaic poems:

The Third Song of Sigurd (Sigurðarkviða in skamma)
 Vegtam's Song (Vegtamskviða),
 The Song of Attila (Atlakviða)
and Volunder's Song (Völundarkviða)

Herbert's version of Völuspá is now presented in Canto 2 of 'Helga'
with critical Notes on the poem in English

  
1845 Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Poets and Poetry of Iceland
Reprints several Eddaic and skaldic poems
previously published in English
by Henderson, Herbert and Taylor
 
1847 Anonymous
from the French of  Xavier Marmier
"Northern Literature: The Eddas"
in The Knickerbocker Vol. 30, p. 295-296
Contains Völuspá and excerpts from Hávamál

 
1851 C.P. in Yale Review
Grimnis-mal or The Song of Grimnir
  
 
1852 William and Mary Howitt
Hávamál or Odin's High Song

in The Litterature and Romance of Northern Europe, Vol. I.
Contains the first 112 verses of Hávamál
with a prose summary of Loddfafnismál and the Runatal sections

    
   
1854 Rudolf Keyser
The Religion of the Northmen
Translated by Barclay Pennock
Contains translations of many Eddic verses scattered throughout the text.
An excerpt from Hávamál appears on pp. 311-316

   
 


1861 G.W.D.
Thorr's Hunt For His Hammer (Þrymskviða)
Once a Week, Vol. 4

1862 Andrew James Symington

Pen and Pencil Sketches of Faröe and Iceland


excerpts from Völuspá, Hávamál and Sólarljóð

   
THE FIRST ACCURATE TRANSLATION OF
ALL EDDIC POEMS INTO ENGLISH


1865-66
Benjamin Thorpe
Edda Sæmundar Hinns Froða
The Edda Of Sæmund The Learned

From The Old Norse Or Icelandic
With A Mythological Index
in Two Volumes
Vol. I Mythological Poems (1865)
includes Hrafnagaldur Odins
Vol. II. Heroic Poems (1866)
      
 

  

1867 N.S. in North British Review
The First Song of Gudrun

1870 Eiríkr Magnússon and William Morris
Volsunga Saga
(Scan)
Volsungasaga
(E-text)
Contains excerpts from the Heroic poems in the Appendix:

Part of the Second Lay of Helgi Hundings-Bane (Helgakviða Hundingsbana II)
Part of the Lay of Sigrdrifa (Sigrdrifumál)
The Lay Called the Short Lay of Sigurd (Sigurdarkviða in skamma)
The Hell-Ride of Brynhild
(Helreið Brynhildar)
Fragments of the Lay of Brynhild
The Second or Ancient Lay of Gudrun (Guðrúnarkviða in forna)
The Song of Atli (Atlakviða)
The Whetting of Gudrun (Guðrúnarhvöt)
The Lay of Hamdir (Hamðismál)
The Lament of Oddrun (Oddrúnarkviða)

   
THE THIRD ENGLISHED
COLLECTION OF EDDIC POEMS


1883 Gudbrand Vigfusson &
Frederick York Powell
Corpus Poeticum Boreale

Vol. I Eddic Poems
Vol. II. Court Poems (Skaldic Poetry)

      
 


1884 Rasmus Anderson
Norse Mythology
contains original translations of
Völuspá and Thrymskviða
.
The remainder are reprints from
Benjamin Thorpe and William Herbert.


1888 Henry Morley
English Writers Volume 2
contains a translation of Völuspá

1905 Ananda Coomaraswarmy
Völuspá: Done into English out of the Icelandic
 
Bonus: Ananda Coomaraswarmy and William Morris


1908 William Charles Greene
Translations from the Icelandic
includes Balder's Dreams and the Grötti-song


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