Snorri's Edda Online Bibliography

Starting date
June 1, 2017
Duration (months)
Foreign Languages and Literatures
Managers or local contacts
Cipolla Maria Adele
Snorra Edda, Primary Sources, Critical Literature,

The publication of the entire corpus of the bibliography on Snorri’s Edda is a complex problem and this is not only because of the great amount of existing titles. The complexity of the task is also connected to the uneasy relationships among the main witnesses of the work (that is three complete manuscripts, three medieval fragments and a complete modern apograph), the critical editions (the editio princeps of 1665 is emblematic since it is rather a rewriting), and the abundant secondary sources on this capital text for Old Norse literary studies.
The project of an Online Bibliography of Snorra Edda aims at creating a database open to the academic community. In the last 18 years we have been collecting a bibliographic database of Snorri’s Edda: the project was started by Adele Cipolla at the Department of German and Slavic Studies of the University of Verona. We have examined the ‘snorrian’ repertoires contained in Islandica (Halldór Hermannsson 1920, Jóann S. Hannesson 1955), the main bibliographies on old Icelandic literature (Warmholtz 1782, Möbius 1856, BONIS 1964-1988, Gippert, Laursen, Rön 1991) and on Nordic mythology  (Simek 1987, Lindow 1988, etc.). For the phase immediately after the rediscovery of the work, the publications which appeared within the project 'Norse Muse' (e.g. Clunies Ross 1998, Krömelbein 1998, Lönroth-Clunies Ross 1999, etc.) have been seminal. In addition we have consulted the main scientific reviews, starting from the specialized ones; however, our area of research cover, more generally, the humanities. The data of our bibliography, constantly updated, (mid-2017) count more than 3500 entries.
Our bibliography aims at showing the presence of a scientific Snorrian literature in different countries over different ages and its effects in the development of a cultural tendency which typically belongs to Modernity.  Its specific difficulties lie in the huge amount of embedded information (not in computational terms): because of its heterogeneous nature Snorri’s Edda is implied in any study on myths and Icelandic and Scandinavian medieval poetic traditions. 
The bibliographic compiling on this theme was described by Jóann S. Hannesson’s caveat as follows: “an exhaustive bibliography of works bearing on the Eddas is impossible: the related fields are too numerous and too large to be fully covered, and the dividing lines are too vague for clear-cut distinctions” (Jóann S. Hannesson, Bibliography of the Eddas: a supplement to Bibliography of the Eddas (Islandica XIII) by Halldór Hermannsson. Islandica XXXVII, 1955, p. vii). The digital support and its perfectibility seemed a suitable tool to control our growing mass of data. A hard copy of the bibliography will follow the first version of its on line publication.
The criteria concerning the selection of the entries adapt to the ones applied in the two specific bibliographies published in Islandica XIII, XXXVII:
  • Primary Sources: editions, translations, and paraphrases are included;
  • Secondary Sources: “all works of immediate importance for Eddic studies” (according to Jóhann S. Hannesson’s words, 1955).
This last very generic restriction is good for any bibliographic corpus. Indeed, within the potentially unlimited number of titles belonging to Secondary Sources the following publications are included:
  • Monographies and miscellaneous publications which are explicitly dedicated to Snorri and his Edda;
  • Articles in specialized reviews, thematic volumes or conference proceedings, which deals with a specific and significant analysis on our topic.
In contrast with Jóann Hanneson’s choice to omit works with specific sections concerning Snorri’s Edda, we have included them. As in the volumes Islandica, reprints, new editions and reviews are listed in the footnote of each entry. In addition, the most significant reviews are mentioned independently among the entries.
We have also envisaged a relational index-linked bibliography, which signals the publication type (monograph, article, etc.), the year, the place, the publishing house, the role of the scholars who appear in the entry (e.g.: author, editor, translator, etc.).
The topics to lemmatize in the indexes can be divided in the following groups:
  • Keywords related to the division of  Edda’s sections and their further inner subsets (e.g.: Formáli, Gylfaginning, etc.);
  • Keywords related to Edda’s manuscripts (ad es.: RegiusUpsaliensis, etc.);
  • Keywords related to taxonomies of implicated literary genres and of their subsets (e.g.: poetry,mythographyrethoriclinguisticsoral poetry, etc.);
  • Keywords related to textual criticism (ad. es.: antigraphcodices descripti, etc.);
  • Keywords related to other works, authors and other genres close to Edda because of geographic, chronologic and taxonomic contiguity   (e.g.: Poetic Edda, genealogies, sagas, trobadours; Bragi Boddason, Saxo Grammaticus; Vergil, etc.)
  • Keywords related to great cultural-historical or socio-literary phenomena (e.g: Conversion, Enlightenment, etc.);
  • Keywords related to literary or mythological figures (ad. es.: AeneasPriamVenus, etc.)
  • Keywords related to geographic notions (e.g.: EuropaScythia, etc.).
The project is thus creating a structured archiving of the bibliographic material concerning Snorri’s Edda, which can be consulted through a web application, enabling the research and updating of the database effectively.

Budget per missioni: 3000 euro

Project participants

Maria Adele Cipolla
Full Professor
Research areas involved in the project
Filologia germanica
Germanic languages. Scandinavian languages: Old Norse. Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian
Literature (General): Medieval (to 1500)
Old Norse literature: Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian


Research facilities