Þórðr mauraskáld (Þmaur)
11th century; volume 3; ed. Diana Whaley;
Fragment (Frag) - 1
Nothing is known about this skald (Þmaur) or about the original context of his sole surviving fragment, preserved only in SnE (Skm). Þórðr has been designated an Icelander and tentatively placed in the eleventh century (e.g. in Skj, and by Faulkes in SnE 1998, II, 523), though neither his nickname nor the fragment afford any decisive clues. The form of the poet’s nickname is given as mauraskáld (‘maura’ (Tˣ, B, C), ‘mꜹra’ (R, A) or ‘mavra’ (W, U)) in all the mss that cite the fragment. If maura- is correct, its meaning is uncertain. Maurr m. means ‘ant’, and it may occur in Norwegian place names with its literal sense or else as a nickname (e.g. Rygh et al. 1897-1936, IV, I, 31, 63, etc.). CVC: maurr cites a metaphorical use of pl. maurar to mean ‘money-bags, in a contemptuous sense’. The first element of Þórðr’s nickname is, meanwhile, treated in some sources as Mœra, gen. pl. of Mœrir, the name for the inhabitants of the Norwegian district of Møre (ON Mœrr; so SnE 1848-87, I, 406 and n., citing Mavrir (strictly Mꜹrom) as a spelling for Mœrir in Fms 10, 386; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246; Lind 1920-1, col. 264; SnE 1931, 272). A geographical or related term would be well paralleled in nicknames of skalds (see Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246), but the orthographic evidence does not warrant assuming that Þórðr was named Mœraskáld.
Diana Whaley 2017, ‘ Þórðr mauraskáld, Fragment’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 474. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=1456> (accessed 18 January 2022)
Skj: Þórðr mauraskáld: Af et ubestemmeligt digt (AI, 419, BI, 388); stanzas (if different): [v]
in texts: LaufE, Skm, SnE
SkP info: III, 474
This helmingr (Þmaur Frag), preserved only in SnE (Skm) and 761bˣ, appears to address one man and to compliment another (or possibly the same man), but nothing is known of their identity or the circumstances of composition. The mss are R, Tˣ, W, U, A, B, C, and W is here used as the main ms. since R lacks the opening three syllables due to a torn-off corner (as well as having two less convincing readings). A transcript of the fragment is also preserved in 761bˣ(452r), but it is not used in the edition below. The transcript shares the main SnE readings, but ‘froður’ (‘wise’?) is added in the margin as a variant to fǫður (l. 4).