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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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FriðÞ Lv 14VIII (Frið 16) l. 7

hrygg — spines


1. hryggr (noun m.; °-jar/-s(cogn.), dat. -; -ir): back; ridge


[7] hrygg: hryggs 109a IIˣ, 173ˣ


[5-7] Elliði skal sníða þeim hrygg sundr í miðju ‘Elliði must slice their spines asunder in the middle’: Miðju is here a substantivised adj., with þeim either a possessive dat. or the dat. pl. of the 3rd pers. pronoun, while hrygg (acc.) is the object of sníða. This means of destroying troll-women or giantesses, by breaking their backbones, is attributed to the god Þórr in the myth of his dealings with the giant Geirrøðr and his daughters Gjálp and Greip, both in Snorri Sturluson’s prose narrative (SnE 1998, I, 25) and in Eil Þdr 15/7-8III, where the kenning hundfornan kjǫl hlátr-Elliða ‘the age-old keel of laughter-Elliði <ship> [BREAST > BACK]’ may allude to this incident of Elliði’s destruction of the two troll-women by slicing through their backbones. Alternatively, elliði may simply be a ship-heiti in Eil Þdr 15, as presented in Þdr 15/7-8III and Note to ll. 7, 8, without specific reference to the Frið legend.



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