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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Eilífr Goðrúnarson, 1. Þórsdrápa, 2 [Vol. 3, 77]

[5] gjarðvani*ðr ‘the belt-familiar one [= Þórr]’: Calling Þórr ‘belt-familiar’ refers to his attribute megingjǫrð ‘strength-belt’ mentioned in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 14). According to Snorri’s version of the myth, Þórr did not have his strength-belt with him, but received a substitute from Gríðr. This edn follows a suggestion by Kock (NN §444; adopted by Genzmer 1934, 71 and Reichardt 1948, 337). None of the ms. readings can be construed as Old Norse words. Ms. R’s ‘giarðvenioðr’ (choosen by Davidson 1983, 570, 572) does not work because ‑venjuðr cannot be derived from the weak verb venja ‘accustom’, because this verb belongs to the first conjugation (venja, vanði, vanðr). At best, venjuðr could be an agent noun derived from an unattested verb of the second conjugation (*venja, ‑aða, venjaðr; cf. Jón Þorkelsson 1890, 3-4). A derivation of an agent noun venjuðr ‘frequenter’ from the abstract noun venja ‘custom, habit’, which Faulkes (SnE 1998, II, 285) proposes, has no parallels (cf. Krahe and Meid 1969, 157-9). Mss W and offer the form -vendi, which can only be a late, weakly inflected p. p. of venja. Vendr appears instead of vandr in the later rímur (ANG §512 Anm. 2), but a weakly inflected p. p. should not be expected in the present poem. Jón Þorkelsson’s (1890, 3-4) emendation garðvǫnoðr ‘wall-breaker’ (of the giants), Finnur Jónsson’s (1900b, 377) garðvitjuðr ‘courtyard visitor’ and likewise Faulkes’s garðvenjuðr ‘enclosure frequenter’ (SnE 1998, II, 285) require determinants consisting of a giant’s name, which, in Finnur Jónsson’s case, leads to a highly complicated word order.


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