These consist of multi-column text documents with various translations running side-by-side and line-for-line with their respective endnotes included (and for the most part their introductions as well). I put these together from the several translations most commonly found around the internet, including those by Thorpe (1866), Bellows (1936), Hollander (1962), and Auden-Taylor (1969). Of these, Bellows is by far the best for my buck (with Hollander a close second), being the most consciously accurate with respect to the source manuscripts and with the most copious notes to help explain them. But a great deal can be learned just by comparing alternate readings of difficult passages, or simply by seeing another perspective on a perplexing section. As with almost all pre-modern literature, Old Norse texts are notoriously obscure.
Of Thorpe and Bellows complete editions of the Eddas are available. However, for Hollander and Auden-Taylor only sporadic parts are found online (Auden's are mostly defunct), since both of these are likely still within the threshold of copyright protection, although Auden died nearly forty years ago. Of these, I've only used what I have found already posted elsewhere as sample chapters, although I have a print edition of Hollander's translation. There are a few other stray translations out there of various bits, but I'll only resort to these if the others peter out at some point, and only if they're of reputable quality and value. In addition, although the notes refer the student to Snorri's Prose Edda at every point, since his are clearly drawn either directly from, or indirectly based on, the poetic works, I've not included these, except where relevant quotes are provided in the notes.
For the most part I'm focusing on segments relating to the Volsung matter and those dealing with Ragnarök. But with such sporadically compiled documents as the Eddas are these are scattered all over the place in amongst other stories and extraneous matter. That's the main reason for this rather thorough gleaning: I'm just trying to gather together all the relevant bits into some cohesive order. The additional files I'm compiling - on place names, chronologies, outlines and the like - will be added to the archive once I've completed this main research phase.
The six volumes posted today comprise the first six according to the Codex Regius manuscript:
1. Völuspá - or "The Song of the Sybil" - in which a seeress prophecies the end of the world. Probably the most famous section of the Eddas, in addition to a fairly detailed accounting of the end times, the section also includes the Norse creation myth and the first war of the gods. The quintessential source for lore regarding Ragnarök.
2. Hávamál - or "The Sayings of the High One" - essentially a Nordic book of proverbs and gnomic wisdom akin to that of Solomon, with some fascinating insights into the northern social code and world outlook. It also includes both the stories of how Odin won the mead of poetry and the runes, and most perplexingly, a dissertation on the faithlessness of women!
3. Vafþrúðnismál - or "The Ballad of Vafthrúdnir" - a course in Norse cosmogony structured as a riddle game or wisdom contest between Odin and the giant of the title, with the loser's head at stake! Essentially an encyclopdia of Norse mythology hung upon the rather scant bones of a story.
4. Grímnismál - or "The Sayings of Grímnir" - Grimnir being one of the many guises of Odin. Here the contest aspect of the game has gone and we are left with a didactic lesson disguised as a reward for the youth who shows kindness to the tortured captive in disguise. Not a light read, but an essential reference work.
5. Skírnismál or "The Ballad of Skírnir" - in which the god Freyr sends his servant Skirnir to woo the hottest giant in the land for him, a task which is done first in sincere fashion with bribes and flattery, and after threats fail too, spirals out of control with one of the best curses of female stubbornness outside of Shakespeare. Highly recommended for that reason alone.
6. Hárbarðsljóð or "The Lay of Hárbarðr" - a highly comic tale of the battle of wits between Thor and the once again disguised Odin, this time as a ferryman reluctant to transport Thor on his way back from slaughtering a host of giants. Clever, witty fun, and not a little bit ribald, as of course Odin's chief delight is getting women pregnant at every opportunity. Not entirely without merit as far as research goes, but a jolly lot of romping fun to read nonetheless.So get your glasses on, take an aspirin or two, and settle in for a night among the Old Norse gods.