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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 10. Óðins nǫfn, 1 [Vol. 3, 732]

[5] Gizurr: A pers. n. of uncertain origin, perhaps related to a weak verb *gitsa, ODan. gitse ‘guess’, cf. OIcel. geta (AEW: Gizurr). See also Sanngetall (st. 7/2). It has been suggested (Falk 1924, 13-14) that this Óðinn-heiti could have been derived from the story of Gizurr Gertingaliði or Grýtingaliði in Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks (Heiðr, FSN I, 495; see also NK 305, 308-10), an emanation of Óðinn, or Óðinn himself, who provoked war between Angantýr, king of the Goths, and his half-brother Hlǫðr, king of the Huns. A reverse relationship is probably more likely, namely, that the name had Odinic associations and so could be applied to Odinic figures in heroic legends and fornaldarsögur. It is clear from the contexts in which it is used that this name was associated with the conception of Óðinn as the promoter of strife (cf. Turville-Petre 1964, 51). In Anon Mhkv 22/2 Óðinn is called Gizurr and described as one who incites princes against each other, and Sturla Þórðarson (Sturl Lv 4/4, 7IV) replaced the name of the treacherous Gizurr jarl Þorvaldsson with Óðinn and Gautr (see the latter name in l. 6 below).


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