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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Bragi inn gamli Boddason, 1. Ragnarsdrápa, 1 [Vol. 3, 28]

[3, 4] blað ilja þjófs Þrúðar ‘the leaf of the footsoles of the thief of Þrúðr <goddess> [= Hrungnir > SHIELD]’: Skm’s commentary indicates that ‘the thief of Þrúðr’ (lit. ‘strength’) refers to the giant Hrungnir, who is the god Þórr’s antagonist in a myth narrated in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 20-2), which is also one subject of another shield-poem, Þjóð Haustl sts 14-20 (SnE 1998, I, 22-4). This myth tells how Hrungnir was persuaded to stand on his shield, which was made of stone, because, he was informed, Þórr was going to attack him from underground. Þrúðr is the name of Þórr’s daughter, so it seems that Hrungnir may have abducted her from her father. Although no telling of Hrungnir’s theft of Þrúðr has survived (but see Alv 2 for a possible allusion; Clunies Ross 1994a; Frank 1978, 113-14), the kenning requires us to understand that such a myth existed, which may in one version have motivated Þórr’s and Hrungnir’s single combat.


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