The Prose Edda, also known as the Younger Edda, Snorri's Edda (Icelandic: Snorra Edda) or, historically, simply as Edda, is an Old Norse work of literature written in Iceland in the early 13th century. The work is often assumed to have been written, or at least compiled, by the Icelandic scholar and historian Snorri Sturluson around the year 1220.
It begins with a euhemerized Prologue, a section on the Norse cosmogony, pantheon and myths. This is followed by three distinct books: Gylfaginning (consisting of around 20,000 words), Skáldskaparmál (around 50,000 words) and Háttatal (around 20,000 words). Seven manuscripts, dating from around 1300 to around 1600, have independent textual value. Sturluson planned the collection as a textbook. It was to enable Icelandic poets and readers to understand the subtleties of alliterative verse, and to grasp the meaning behind the many kenningar (compounds) that were used in skaldic poetry.
The Prose Edda was originally referred to as simply Edda, but was later titled the Prose Edda in modern collections to distinguish it from the collections titled Poetic Edda that are largely based on Codex Regius, a collection of poetry composed after Edda in 13th century Iceland. At that time, versions of the Edda were well known in Iceland, but scholars speculated that there once was an Elder Edda which contained the poems which Snorri quotes in his Edda.