In Norse mythology, Bragi is the god of poetry, eloquence, and music. He is known for his vast knowledge and wisdom, particularly in skaldic poetry, which is a form of Norse court poetry.
In Norse mythology, Bragi is often recognized as the god of poetry, eloquence, and music. His association with poetry is so deep that his name itself is sometimes used as a synonym for “poet.” Image: Bragi by Swedish artist Carl Wahlbom (1810–1858).
Below, WHE presents some key aspects of the Norse god:
Origin and family
Bragi is considered the son of the god Odin, the chief of the Aesir, and the giantess Gunnlod, whom Odin seduced to obtain the mead of poetry.
Appearance in the Eddas
Bragi is mentioned in various sources of Norse mythology, such as the “Prose Edda” and the “Poetic Edda.” In these texts, Bragi’s eloquence and mastery over the poetic arts are often highlighted.
He is often depicted with a long beard, and there are references in the sagas to “Bragi’s beard,” which might metaphorically denote poetic inspiration.
Bragi is associated with runes (the ancient Norse alphabet) and their inscriptions. In some stories, his tongue is adorned with runes, a symbol of his mastery over words and language.
Marriage to Iðunn
Bragi is married to Iðunn, the goddess who possesses the apples of eternal youth. These apples are what keep the gods young. In one of the famous tales, when Idunn is kidnapped, the gods begin to age rapidly, showcasing her significance in Norse cosmology.
READ MORE: The Nine Realms in Norse Mythology
Role in Aegir’s Feast
In the “Lokasenna” section of the “Poetic Edda,” during a feast hosted by the sea god Aegir, Loki, the Norse god of mischief and chaos, enters the hall and insults almost all the gods and goddesses present. The trickster-god even accuses Bragi’s wife Iðunn of embracing her brother’s slayer. It is unclear what Loki meant by that as reference to that particular matter did not survive.
In any case, Bragi tries to keep peace by offering Loki a gift to keep quiet, but Loki continues his tirade. This story showcases Bragi’s character as a peaceful and non-confrontational figure.
“Loki Taunts Bragi”(1908) by British artist W. G. Collingwood.
Questions & Answers
It’s worth noting that while Bragi’s role in the major myths is limited, his association with poetry and eloquence makes him a significant deity in a culture where skalds (poets) held an essential role in preserving stories, history, and wisdom.
Here’s what you need to know: