This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

1. 12. Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa, 8 [Vol. 1, 168]

[8] byr kvánar óls mána ‘fair wind of the wife of the affliction of the moon [GIANT > GIANTESS > MIND]’: This kenning is clearly of the well-known type ‘wind of the giantess [MIND/THOUGHT]’, but it has caused difficulty because of the significant variance in ms. readings. (a) The explanation adopted in this edn is due to Björn Magnússon Ólsen (1886, 195-203, followed by ÍF 26). The reading óls (found only in J1ˣ, J2ˣ) is adopted. This is gen. sg. of the rare ól n., whose etymological sense is ‘pestilence, affliction’ (see AEW: ól 2 and Note to ÞSkall Valfl 1/8II, where it appears to have the meaning ‘troll-woman’). The kenning apparently alludes to the Mánagarmr ‘hound of the moon’, a giant in the likeness of a wolf who will swallow the sun (and/or moon) according to Gylf (SnE 2005, 14; cf. ÍF 26), although the evidence for this figure prior to SnE is equivocal (SnE 2005, 172). (b) Finnur Jónsson (1884, 93; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; LP: óskkvôn, máni; Skj B, followed by Skald; Hkr 1991) instead selects ósk ‘wish’, the reading of F, and reads byr óskkvánar mána ‘fair wind of the desired/desiring woman of Máni/the moon [GIANTESS > MIND]’, but corruption of this easily interpreted reading to óls or óðs would be unlikely, and there is no direct evidence that Máni ‘moon’ had giant status (SnE 2005, 13; Björn Magnússon Ólsen 1886, 196-200; ÍF 26). See Egill St 13/2V (Eg 84) for a similar, also problematic, context containing the words byr and mána .


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.