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Þórðr mauraskáld (Þmaur)
Skj info: Þórðr mauraskáld, Islænder, 11. årh.(?) (AI, 419, BI, 388).
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.
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