The Poetic Edda, also known as Sæmundar Edda or the Elder Edda, is a collection of Old Norse poems from the Icelandic medieval manuscript Codex Regius ("The King's Manuscript"). Along with Snorri's Edda the Poetic Edda is the most important source on Germanic mythology and heroic legends.
The first part of the Codex Regius preserves poems that narrate the creation and destruction of the mythological world as well as individual myths about gods such as Odin, Thor and Heimdall. The poems in the second part narrate legends about heroes and heroines such as Sigurd the Dragonslayer, Brynhildr and Gunnar.
The Codex Regius was written down in the 13th century but nothing is known of its whereabouts until 1643 when it came into the possession of Brynjólfur Sveinsson, then Bishop of Skálholt. At that time versions of Snorri's Edda were well known in Iceland but scholars speculated that there once was another Edda — an Elder Edda — which contained the pagan poems Snorri quotes in his book.
When the Codex Regius was discovered it seemed that this speculation had proven correct. Brynjólfur attributed the manuscript to Sæmundr fróði, a larger-than-life 12th century Icelandic priest. While this attribution is rejected by modern scholars the name Sæmundar Edda is still sometimes encountered.