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Runic Dictionary

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Gestumblindi (Gestumbl)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Heiðreks gátur (Heiðr) - 37

Heiðreks gátur (‘Riddles of Heiðrekr’) — Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr)

Not published: do not cite (Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr))

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12   13   14   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   36   37 

Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur, Gestumblindes gåder (AII, 221-8, BII, 240-7); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38

SkP info: VIII, 426

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

16 — Gestumbl Heiðr 16VIII (Heiðr 63)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance

 

Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 63 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 16)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 426.

Hvat er þat undra,
er ek úti
fyrir Dellings durum?
Horni harðara,
hrafni svartara,
skjalli hvítara,
skapti réttara.
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu.

 

What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? [It is] harder than horn, blacker than the raven, whiter than the membrane of an egg, straighter than a shaft. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.

notes: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 35-6): Smækkask nú gáturnar, Gestumblindi; hvat þarf lengr yfir þessu at sitja? Þat er hrafntinna, ok skein á hana sólargeisli ‘The riddles now grow trivial, Gestumblindi; what is the need to sit longer over this? That is obsidian, and a sunbeam shines on it’. The H redaction (Heiðr 1924, 69) omits the initial comment (but cf. Heiðr 57, Note to [All]) where a similar observation is made), but adds er lá í einu húsi ‘which lay in a house’. Obsidian is a dark-coloured glassy volcanic rock; Iceland is one of the best known locations in Europe for its occurrence. It features in late antique and medieval encyclopedias, such as Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia (XXXVI, 67; Eichholz 1962, 154-6) and Isidore of Seville’s Etymologiae (XVI, iv, 21: Isidore, Etym. II). There is evidence that it was used as flint during the Viking Age (Hughes and Lucas 2009, 46); cf. Heiðr 77 and 81, about flint and embers in the hearth, respectively. Obsidian forms a very sharp edge and was also used as a cutting tool (Orri Vésteinsson 2000a, 169); it may further have been used for decorative or magical purposes, though the Icelandic evidence for the latter is from as late as the C19th (Hughes and Lucas 2009, 46). — Lines 1-3 are ljóðaháttr, 4-7 málaháttr and 8-9 fornyrðislag. — [1]: See Note to Heiðr 55/1. — [6-7]: These lines are reversed in the H-redaction mss, which ordering is favoured by Skj and Skald, but the other mss agree on the ordering retained here. Either is acceptable.

texts: Heiðr 63 (48/46)

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 8 (AII, 222-3; BII, 241); Skald II, 125; Heiðr 1672, 147, FSN 1, 470, Heiðr 1873, 246-7, 336, Heiðr 1924, 63, 69, 135, FSGJ 2, 41, Heiðr 1960, 35; Edd. Min. 112.

sources

GKS 2845 4° (2845) 71r, 12 - 71r, 13 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  image  
AM 281 4°x (281x) 100r, 1 - 100r, 2 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
AM 597 b 4°x (597bx) 50r, 13 - 50r, 14 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
UppsUB R 715x (R715x) 28r, 18 - 28r, 20 [1-7] (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
AM 203 folx (203x) 103r, 8 - 103r, 14 (Heiðr)  image  
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