In discussing the date of the Eddie poems one must carefully distinguish three factors: the date of their written compilation or recording, the date of their actual composition by the poet, and the age of the mythological, legendary and other material which they contain. In speaking of the age of the Eddie poems it is clear that we are referring to the second factor, the creative act of the poet, which, so far as we know, did not contemplate immediate written record either by himself or a scribe. It is by no means superfluous, however, to emphasize the distinction of the first two factors mentioned, as, in the case of the sagas, they have not yet been entirely disentangled. A consideration of the first and third factors is furthermore not without value, as it must be clear that the poems are not younger than the time of their written record and not older than their original content. The recording may be much later, the content much older, than the date of composition. These, however, if they can be established, furnish the most definite termini ad quern and a quo respectively. If the recording was actually centuries later than the time of composition we shall expect to find corruptions of various sorts, such as interpolations and transposition of stanzas and verses, with which we are abundantly familiar in the case of the popular ballads. This allows great leeway for textual criticism, in which, as experience has shown, critics are prone to disagree. Similarly, if the original content is centuries older than the time of composition of the poems, it is reasonable to suppose that the content will have been profoundly affected in its passage through the centuries. If we take as an example the Nibelungenlied, whose date of composition is approximately known, its original content of the time of the Germanic migrations has been in places so affected by the later medieval institutions and ideals of life, which have thereby become an important part of the content, that the terminus a quo would by this very fact be pushed far beyond the time of the migrations. Analogies of this sort may be of value in an effort to date the Eddie poems, but the question is here somewhat confused by the question of possible interpolations.