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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]

[8] Hnikuðr: Perhaps ‘one who incites to battle’ (Turville-Petre 1964, 51), an agent noun from the weak verb hnika ‘push, upset the balance’ (in Old Norse attested only in poetry; see Note to Arn Hryn 2/2II). Óðinn is then described as a war-god, but the name might hint at his habit of not participating in battles himself but rather inciting others to fight (Falk 1924, 18). See also the variant Hnikarr (st. 2/6 and Note there); both names appear in Grí 47/3, 48/2 and in the lists of Óðinn-names in Gylf (SnE, 2005, 8, 21-2). According to Gylf (SnE 2005, 8), Nikuz eða Hnikuðr ‘Nikuz or Hnikuðr’ as well as Nikarr eða Hnikarr ‘Nikarr or Hnikarr’ are among the twelve names that the highest god (i.e. Óðinn) had í Ásgarði inum forna ‘in the old Ásgarðr’.


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