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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 6. Dverga heiti, 4 [Vol. 3, 699]

[6] Gandalfr: The first part of the name is illegible in B (‘[…] alfr’) but 744ˣ has ‘gannalfr’, which cannot be interpreted. The LaufE mss give Gunnalfr ‘battle-elf’, which is a lectio facilior. Gandalfr means either ‘elf concerned with magic’ (cf. gandr m. ‘stick, magic wand, magic’ and álfr m. ‘elf’) or ‘wolf-elf’, ‘outlaw-elf’ (cf. gandr = vargr ‘wolf, outlaw’), perhaps an evil elf (both possibilities are considered by Gould 1929, 948). As a dwarf-name, Gandalfr otherwise occurs only in Vsp 12/1 and in Gylf (SnE 2005, 16), but it is attested as a pers. n. in Ynglinga saga and Hálfdanar saga svarta (Gandálfr Álfgeirsson, a king in Vingulmǫrk in southern Norway; Hkr, ÍF 26, 81, 84, 94-5).


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