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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 6. Dverga heiti, 2 [Vol. 3, 695]

[2] Dvalinn: This name may mean ‘torpid one’ (cf. the verbs dvala, dvelja ‘delay’, New Norw. dvalen ‘lazy, sleepy’, ModNorw. dvale ‘stupor, state of hibernation’; Gould 1929, 944). According to Vsp 14/2 and Hávm 143/3, Dvalinn was the leader or the ruler of the dwarfs, while in Fáfn 13/6 he is the father of some norns. The name is also mentioned in the list of dwarfs in Vsp 11/4 and in Gylf (SnE 2005, 16, 18). In Alv 16/3 (NK 126) it is said that the dwarfs call the sun leica Dvalins ‘Dvalinn’s plaything/playmate’ (see also Þul Sólar l. 8), which may allude to a myth similar to the story told in Alv 35 where the first sunbeams turn a dwarf into stone. However, the pers. n. in the poetic circumlocution leika Dvalins may well be just a term for ‘dwarf’ in general, since the name Dvalinn occurs frequently in skaldic kennings. Dvalinn is also known from Anon Kálfv 1/2 (see Note there) and from Sǫrla þáttr (Flat 1860-8, I, 275); in both cases the name most likely refers to other legendary persons. Dvalinn is otherwise a mythic stag in Grí 33/4. See Note to Dvalarr in Þul Hjartar l. 4.


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