Cite as: Hannah Burrows (ed.) 2017, ‘Hervarar saga ok Heiðreks 78 (Gestumblindi, Heiðreks gátur 31)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 445.
notes: Heiðrekr’s response is (Heiðr 1960, 82): Hest þann kallar þú línvef, en skeið meri hans, en upp ok ofan skal hrista vefinn ‘You call that stallion linen cloth, and the weaver’s rod his mare, and up and down the web shall be shaken’. Tolkien (Heiðr 1960, 82 n.) points out that the solution ‘is obviously wrong: the “mare” is the web on the loom, which is alternately raised up and pressed down by the rod or slay’. In the prose following the riddle, before giving the solution Heiðrekr invites his courtiers to solve it, but they are unable to. The riddle’s obvious sexual overtones perhaps explain its omission in the R and U redactions and its textual problems in the H-redaction mss. — [5-6]: ‘Gjöpta’ l. 6 is not a known Old Norse word. Neither Skj B nor Heiðr 1960 attempt reconstruction, and the suggestions of Kock (Skald; NN §3284), Bugge (Heiðr 1873) and Edd. Min. are conjectural and not particularly satisfactory.
texts: ‹Heiðr 78 (/60)›
editions: Skj Anonyme digte og vers [XIII]: D. 5. Heiðreks gátur 36 (AII, 228; BII, 247); Skald II, 128, NN §3284; Heiðr 1873, 258, Heiðr 1924, 78, Heiðr 1960, 81-2; Edd. Min. 118.