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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Eilífr Goðrúnarson, 1. Þórsdrápa, 14 [Vol. 3, 105]

[1-2] þróttarhersa Þornranns ‘of the strength-hersar of the house of Þorn <giant> [CAVE > GIANTS]’: The base-word of the giant-kenning is hersa ‘of the hersar’, qualified by þróttar ‘of the strength’. Words for leaders or rulers such as gramr, jarl, jǫfurr are well attested as base-words in kennings for ‘giant’ (Meissner 255-8). The determinant of þróttarhersa is Þornranns ‘of the house of Þorn <giant>’. Þórnrann could in fact be interpreted lit. as ‘Þorn’s house’; yet, in its function as the determinant in a giant-kenning, it is preferable to take Þornranns as a kenning for ‘cave’, i.e. the dwelling place of a giant. Kock’s (NN §460) interpretation … gingu fram í þróttar hersa þornranns ‘they moved forward against the strong hersar of the giant-dwelling’ assumes an unattested collocation ganga framm í ‘move against sby’ (Reichardt 1948, 372). Reichardt (ibid.) therefore suggests a conjectural við ‘against’ in place of í ‘in, into’. Finnur Jónsson (1900b, 392; Skj B) emends Þornranns gen. to Þornrann acc. and combines it with í ‘in’ (l. 1), but this leaves a dangling prep.


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