Bragi Boddason

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In his Edda Snorri Sturluson quotes many stanzas attributed to Bragi Boddason the old (Bragi Boddason inn gamli), a Norwegian court poet who served several Swedish kings, Ragnar Lodbrok, Östen Beli and Björn at Hauge who reigned in the first half of the ninth century. This Bragi was reckoned as the first skaldic poet, and was certainly the earliest skaldic poet then remembered by name whose verse survived in memory.

Snorri especially quotes passages from Bragi's Ragnarsdrápa, a poem supposedly composed in honor of the famous legendary Viking Ragnar Lodbrók ('Hairy-breeches') describing the images on a decorated shield which Ragnar had given to Bragi. The images included Thor's fishing for Jörmungandr, Gefjun's ploughing of Zealand from the soil of Sweden, the attack of Hamdir and Sorli against King Jörmunrekk, and the never-ending battle between Hedin and Högni.

Landnámabók says that Bragi was married to Lopthœna the daughter of Erpr lútandi, another skald who served the Swedish king Eysteinn Beli. They were among the ancestors of the later skald Gunnlaugr ormstunga[1].

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