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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gamli gnævaðarskáld (Ggnæv)

10th century; volume 3; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

1. Poem about Þórr (Þórr) - 1

Skj info: Gamli gnævaðarskáld, Isl. digter i det 10. årh. (AI, 140, BI, 132).

Skj poems:
1. Af et digt om Tor
2. Af et fyrstedigt el. heltedigt(?)

Only two helmingar composed by Gamli gnævaðarskáld (Ggnæv) are known, both recorded in mss of SnE (SnE 1998, I, 16, 103). Nothing is known of Gamli’s origin or dates, though the pagan subject-matter of Ggnæv Þórr has suggested a date in the tenth century (Skj; SnE 1998, I, 222). Previous editors have assumed he was an Icelander, though there is no proof of this. The nickname gnævaðarskáld is recorded in SnE (SnE 1998, I, 103), though its meaning is uncertain. It may derive from the verb gnæfa ‘to tower high’. Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 460) speculates that the name may indicate that Gamli composed about someone with the nickname Gnævaðr ‘raised high, towering’; Lind (1920-1, cols. 113-14). It is assumed, though without certainty, that the Gamli credited with the Poem about Þórr (Ggnæv Þórr) is the same as the Gamli gnævaðarskáld credited with the Fragment, though only in the latter case is the nickname mentioned in the mss.

Poem about Þórr — Ggnæv ÞórrIII

Margaret Clunies Ross 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Gamli gnævaðarskáld, Poem about Þórr’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 189.

 1 

Skj: Gamli gnævaðarskáld: 1. Af et digt om Tor (AI, 140, BI, 132); stanzas (if different): [v]

in texts: Skm, SnE

SkP info: III, 189

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance references search files

 

1 Meðan gramr, hinns svik samðit,
snart Bilskirnis, hjarta,
grundar fisk með grandi
gljúfrskeljungs nam rjúfa.
While the ruler of Bilskirnir <mythical hall> [= Þórr], the one who did not plan treachery in his heart, quickly smashed the fish of the sea-bed [= Miðgarðsormr] with the destruction of the gully-whale [GIANT > = Mjǫllnir].
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