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Passed down long ago from poet to poet and singer to singer in the great oral tradition of Scandinavia, this collection of heroic sagas explores a mythical world. Incorporating legends of Norse gods and heroes, great fires and floods, superhuman warriors and doomed lovers, these dramatic poems weave vivid portraits of powerful characters caught up in passion, ambition, and destiny. Filled with gripping conceptions of the world's creation and ultimate destruction, the verses chronicle the triumphs and tragedies of a lost mythological past, where words of wisdom and beauty echoed off the steel of waving swords. The hero poems of The Poetic Edda are literary monuments that have inspired such luminaries as Richard Wagner and J. R. R. Tolkien. This Dover edition, which includes exceptionally detailed and complete translations by Henry Adams Bellows, will continue to enchant new generations of readers. It is a companion to The Poetic Edda: The Mythological Poems, also available from Dover Publications.