Anonymous, Alvíssmál [The Song of All-wise]

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Alvíssmál

[All-wise’s sayings] is an Old Norse-Icelandic mythological poem, composed in the eddic meter

ljóðaháttr 

[song meter] and divided into 35 stanzas. Its form is dialogic, all stanzas representing the direct speech of the characters. The oldest version of

Alvíssmál

survives in a vellum manuscript from c. 1270, Konungsbók eddukvæða (Codex Regius of Eddic Poetry; GKS 2365 4to). Two verses (stanzas 20 and 30) are also found in manuscripts of

Snorra Edda

[Snorri’s Edda], in the

Skáldskaparmál

[Poetic diction] section, a work which, like

Alvíssmál

, concerns the naming of things. The poem appears in many paper manuscripts composed in post-Reformation Iceland.

The poem has two speaking characters, Þórr of the Æsir and the dwarf Alvíss [All-wise], who trade stanzas of

1428 words

Citation: McGillivray, Andrew. "Alvíssmál". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 12 September 2022 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=40734, accessed 15 June 2024.]

40734 Alvíssmál 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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