Bragi


“Bragi” by Carl Wahlbom (1810-1858).
Bragi is the skaldic god of poetry in Norse mythology.
Bragi is generally associated with bragr, the Norse word for poetry. The name of the god may have been derived from bragr, or the term bragrmay have been formed to describe ‘what Bragi does’. A connection between the name Bragi and English brego ‘chieftain’ has been suggested but is generally now discounted. A connection between Bragi and the bragarfull ‘promise cup’ is sometimes suggested, as bragafull, an alternate form of the word, might be translated as ‘Bragi’s cup’. See Bragarfull.

Bragi is shown with a harp and accompanied by his wife Iðunn in this 19th century painting by Nils Blommér.

Snorri Sturluson writes in the Gylfaginning after describing OdinThor, and Baldr:

One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr, and from his name that one is called bragr-man or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Iðunn.

In Skáldskaparmál Snorri writes:

How should one periphrase Bragi? By calling him husband of Iðunnfirst maker of poetry, and the long-bearded god (after his name, a man who has a great beard is called Beard-Bragi), and son of Odin.
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