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Grímr loðinkinni (Gríml)

volume 8; ed. Beatrice La Farge;

Lausavísur (Lv) - 5

Lausavísur — Gríml LvVIII (GrL)

Not published: do not cite (Gríml LvVIII (GrL))

stanzas:  1   2   3   4   5 

SkP info: VIII, 289

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

1 — Gríml Lv 1VIII (GrL 1)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Gríms saga loðinkinna 1 (Grímr loðinkinni, Lausavísur 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 289.

One year, when there is a famine, Grímr sails north to Finnmǫrk (Finnmark, land of the Saami) to fish and hunt. In the middle of the night, he is awakened by the sound of laughter. He goes down to the shore and finds two troll-women shaking the stem and the stern post of his boat as if they were going to pull it apart. These five stanzas contain insults and threats which Grímr loðinkinni and the troll-women Feima and Kleima hurl at one another in GrL ch. 1 (FSGJ 2, 186-8).

Hvat heita þær         hrauns íbúur,
er skaða vilja         skipi mínu?
Ykr hefik         einar sénar
ámátligastar         at yfirlitum.

Hvat heita {þær íbúur hrauns}, er vilja skaða skipi mínu? Ykr einar hefik sénar ámátligastar at yfirlitum.

What are the names of {those female inhabitants of the lava field} [TROLL-WOMEN], who want to harm my ship? You two alone are the most overwhelming in appearance I have [ever] seen.

Mss: 343a(58r), 471(57v) (GrL)

Editions: Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII], E. 9. Vers af Fornaldarsagaer: Af Gríms saga loðinkinna I 1: AII, 287, BII, 308, Skald II, 163; FSN 2, 145FSGJ 2, 186-7, Anderson 1990, 60, 111, 444; Edd. Min. 85.

Context: This stanza is introduced by the words: Grímr mælti ok kvað vísu ‘Grímr spoke and uttered a stanza’.

Notes: [All]: The troll-women are described in a manner traditional for troll-women and giantesses: they are ‘inhabitants of the lava-field’ (cf. Note to l. 2) and are overwhelmingly hideous in appearance; cf. Schulz (2004, 147-53); Ket 16. They are furthermore not the only such beings in Old Norse literature who attack the ships of the hero: in a similar episode in Ket ch. 3 (FSGJ 2, 158) Grímr’s father Ketill hœngr also sails to Finnmark; he too awakens when a troll-woman shakes the stem of his ship; in HjǪ (FSGJ 4, 207) nine sea-ogresses tear the ships apart; in other sagas giants or giantesses attack ships at sea (Frið, FSGJ 3, 87; Ǫrv 1888, 44, 46); cf. HHj 13, 18-19, 23, 26. — [2] þær íbúur hrauns ‘those female inhabitants of the lava field [TROLL-WOMEN]’: This kenning is not attested elsewhere, but there are synonymous kennings for ‘giant’ in other texts: hraunbúi ‘lava-dweller’ (Hym 38/5, HHj 25/5), hraundrengr ‘rock-gentleman’ (Þjóð Haustl 17/6III). While the f. íbúa ‘female inhabitant’ is a hap. leg., the corresponding m. noun íbúi ‘male inhabitant’ is attested in Greg (Unger 1877, 1, 393). — [7] ámátligastar ‘the most overwhelming’: In poetry the adj. ámátligr is only used of giants and a valkyrie (HHund I 38/3) and occurs in a similar stanza in HjǪ, in which the hero of that saga asks a giantess who she is (HjǪ 11, FSGJ 4, 205); in Þul Jǫtna I 6/7III it is also predicated of giants. Ámátligr is derived from the noun máttr ‘might, strength’ and the prefix á- has intensifying character, hence ámátligr can be translated as ‘overwhelmingly strong’. It is sometimes interpreted as meaning ‘abominable, frightful’ (cf. Gering 1903: á-mátlegr; Heggstad et al. 2008: ámátligr; ÍO: ámát(t)legur).

Runic data from Samnordisk runtextdatabas, Uppsala universitet, unless otherwise stated