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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Gestumblindi (Gestumbl)

volume 8; ed. Margaret Clunies Ross;

Heiðreks gátur (Heiðr) - 37

not in Skj

Heiðreks gátur (‘Riddles of Heiðrekr’) — Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr)

Not published: do not cite (Gestumbl HeiðrVIII (Heiðr))

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Skj: Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur, Gestumblindes gåder (AII, 221-8, BII, 240-7); stanzas (if different): 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38

SkP info: VIII, 425

old edition introduction edition manuscripts transcriptions concordance search files

15 — Gestumbl Heiðr 15VIII (Heiðr 62)

edition interactive full text transcriptions old edition references concordance


Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 62 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 15)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 425.

Hvat er þat undra,
er ek úti
fyrir Dellings durum?
Lýðum lýsir,
en loga gleypir
ok keppaz um þat vargar ávalt.
Heiðrekr konungr,
hyggðu at gátu.


What is the wonder that I saw outside before Dellingr’s doors? It gives light to men, but swallows flame, and wolves always compete for it. King Heiðrekr, think about the riddle.

notes: Heiðrekr replies (Heiðr 1960, 81): þat er sól; hon lýsir lǫnd ǫll ok skínn yfir alla menn, en Skalli ok Hatti heita vargar ... en annarr þeira ferr fyrir, en annarr eptir sólu ‘that is the sun; she illuminates all lands and shines over all men, and the wolves are called Skalli and Hatti ... and one of them goes before, and the other after the sun’. On these wolves see Note to l. 6. — [1]: See Note to Heiðr 55/1. — [1-3]: The mss are ambiguous as to whether the opening formula is intended here (their readings could be an abbreviation of these lines, as in the previous stanzas), or whether the riddle is simply intended to read Hvat er þat er lýðum lýsir… ‘What is it that gives light to men…’. Considering the heavy use of abbreviation in these lines elsewhere, and the H redaction’s practice of grouping riddles with a similar beginning together, it is assumed here and by other eds that the formula should be understood. See also Note to Heiðr 58/1-3. — [6]: This conceit is found in Grí 39 and Gylf, in both of which the wolves are called Skǫll and Hati rather than Skalli and Hatti as in the prose solution here. Gylf explains that the sun travels fast because she is being chased, specifying (SnE 2005, 14): Hann [i.e Skǫll] hræðisk hon ok hann mun taka hana, en sá heitir Hati Hróðvitnisson er fyrir henni hleypr, ok vill hann taka tunglit, ok svá mun verða ‘She is afraid of him and he will catch her, and that one is called Hati Hróðvitnisson who runs before her, and he wishes to catch the moon, and so it will happen’. In Vafþr 47 it is the mythical wolf Fenrir who will swallow the sun at Ragnarǫk.

texts: Heiðr 62 (/45)

editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 35 (AII, 227-8; BII, 247); Skald II, 128; Heiðr 1873, 246, Heiðr 1924, 68, Heiðr 1960, 81; Edd. Min. 111-12.


AM 281 4°x (281x) 99v, 28 - 99v, 29 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
AM 597 b 4°x (597bx) 50r, 9 - 50r, 10 (Heiðr)  transcr.  image  
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