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John Lindow[edit]

John Lindlow (in Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, 2001, Oxford: Oxford Univesity Press, p. 339) discusses lack of quality control in material on the web:

This listing is part of The Encyclopedia Mythica: An Encyclopedia on Mythology, Folklore, and Legend. Randomly looking at some entries, I found this on Bragi:

The god of eloquence and poetry, and the patron of skalds (poets) in Norse mythology. He is regarded as a son of Odin and Frigg. Runes were carved on his tongue and he inspired poetry in humans by letting them drink from the mead of poetry. Bragi is married to Idun, the goddess of eternal youth. Oaths were sworn over the Bragarfull (Cup of Bragi), and drinks were taken from it in honor of a dead king. Before a king ascended the throne, he drank from such a cup.

There are no fewer than six errors in this paragraph (the lingual runes being the most spectacular), ...

Lindlow does not list the other five errors, I suppose as a test for the reader. The current article at Encyclopedia Mythica: Bragi is still exactly as Lindlow quotes it. The experts(?) behind that site either don't know or care about such inaccuracies, though one might expect word of Lindlow's note to have reached them. The site is replete with inaccuracies, unfortunately perhaps the source of many of the same inaccuracies in Wikipedia.

I believe I have identified all six errors and fixed them in this article and in the article Bragarfull.

I have made other changes as well.

From the article before my editing:

The verb 'to brag' is derived from his name, ...

From Eytmology Bol-Bra:

brag - c.1360, braggen, origin obscure, perhaps related to bray of a trumpet. Other sources suggest O.N. bragr "the best, the toast (of anything)," also "poetry."

A relationship to the name Bragi is possible but hardly to be given as a fact.

From the article before my editing:

... possibly also the verb 'to brew'.

For etymology of brew see Eytmology: Brav-Buc and Bartleby: American Heritage Dictionary: Indo-European Roots: bhreu-. There is no relationship between brew and Bragi. I suggest in the article that these ideas may come from A. & E. Keary's, The Heroes of Asgard, Back matter. A. & E. Keary's explanation of names are often odd, even for the state of linguistic knowledge in 1891.

Before my editing:

Bragi was probably based on a real person, ...

I think that too POV in this case. I've read too much the other way and too much where the author mentions both positions but supports neither for the article to point towards one side or the other, even with a probably.

Before my editing:

... this may have to do with the fact that Bragi customarily is awaiting the slain in Valhalla in the wake of conflict.

The word customarily overstates the case. Bragi appears in this role in a single text only, and the role of greeter in the other parallel text is given instead to the warriors Sigmund and Sinfjötli whom one can hardly accuse of cowardice.

I have put what I believe to be misinformation in a special debunking section of the article, which will hopefully prevent it from creeping back in again. It would be good if the actual sources of such inventions as Gunnlöd being Bragi's mother could be discovered. That's quite a nice idea, actually. One expects a child to spring from the union of Odin and Gunnlöd. But the sources are silent and speculation should be given only as speculation and modern literary invention should be identified as modern literary invention.

Jallan 03:26, 8 Aug 2004 (UTC)