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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Eyv Hál 1I l. 9

Surts — of Surtr [giant]


Surtr (noun m.): Surtr



[9] Surts ‘of Surtr [giant]’: It has been suggested that Surtr is used here as a common noun (‘giant’), referring to Suttungr (LP (1860), LP: Surtr 2; Faulkes 1987, 254; SnE 1998, I, 160); see Note to ll. 3-4 above on Suttungr. However, the name Surtr may refer, as normally, to the notorious fire-giant (see Phillpotts 1905). Since he was famed for his single combat with Freyr at Ragnarǫk (Vsp 53/5-6, Fáfn 14/5-6; SnE 2005, 50; Simek 1993, 303-4), mention of him here fits with the general interest in Freyr in Hál (see Introduction and Note to st. 3/3). It is also possible that Surtr figured in early versions of the story of the poetic mead, perhaps playing the role ascribed to Suttungr in SnE (cf. Krause 1990, 142-3). The evidence of Hfr ErfÓl 15/7-8 sylg ættar Surts ‘drink of the family of Surtr [GIANTS > POETRY]’ is equivocal, since Surtr could either refer to a figure in the myth or (more likely) could function as a representative giant.



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