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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 14. Ásynja heiti, 1 [Vol. 3, 763]

[6] Skaði: Although listed among the Ásynjur as the wife of Njǫrðr (see Þul Ása II l. 7), Skaði is the daughter of the giant Þjazi. Bragi (Frag 2/2) calls her ǫndurdís ‘ski-dís’, as does Snorri, who tells how she travelled on skis and shot wild animals (Gylf, SnE 2005, 24; see also Grí 11, Skí 1, Lok 49-51, etc.). With her armour, bow and skis, Skaði shares some features with male gods (cf. Turville-Petre 1964, 164), and this common ground may be inferred from the very form of her name, whose origin is obscure. It is possible that Skaði is derived from skaði m. ‘harm’, but many other interpretations of this name have been suggested, e.g. that Skaði may be connected with Ska(n)dinavia (Scandinavia) or Skáney (Skåne, Scania) (cf. OE Scedenige; see ARG II, 337-8 and AEW: skaði). The name of this goddess does not occur in skaldic kennings.


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