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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]

[6] Gautr: One of the most frequently used Óðinn-names, which is also mentioned in Grí 54/6 and in the list in Gylf. It was perhaps originally the name of the eponymous father of the Gautar (people of Gautland, modern Västergötland), and hence of the Goths who, according to Jordanes, came to the Continent from Scandinavia. Snorri, however, argues that the legendary king Goti = Gautr (whom Gautland and Gotland is named after) received his name from one of Óðinn’s names (Skm, SnE 1998, I, 105). According to Falk (1924, 11-12), the Óðinn-name Gautr must be of Germanic origin because some Germanic tribes trace their ruling dynasties back to Gautr, their divine ancestor. In Anglo-Saxon sources, for example, Woden (ON Óðinn) is said to descend from the OE Gēat, whose name corresponds to ON Gautr (Turville-Petre 1964, 70).


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