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Runic Dictionary

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Þjóð Haustl 4III l. 4

hrafn — of the raven


hrafn (noun m.; °hrafns; dat. hrafni; hrafnar): raven < hrafnáss (noun m.)



[3, 4] vin hrafnásar hlaut blása ‘the friend of the raven-god [= Óðinn > = Loki] had to blow [the fire]’: Many eds (e.g. Skj B; Skald) adopt the more common nom. form vinr ‘friend’ over the mss’ vin but this is not necessary as both forms are attested (cf. ANG §§285 Anm. 2, 388 and Anm.). Óðinn is the raven-god, for he possesses two ravens, Huginn ‘Thought’ and Muninn ‘Memory’, who fly around the world every day to bring him information about whatever is going on (cf. Grí 20, SnE 2005, 32-3); the raven-god’s friend is probably Loki here rather than Hœnir (so NN §1016), as there seems to be a contrast with the god referred to in l. 2. Blása ‘blow’ is assumed to refer to the need for the gods to blow on the fire to keep the earth-oven cooking; Kock (NN §1016), however, suggests that it means to get angry, puff with rage, citing Fritzner: blása 2 (cf. ONP: 2blása A. 4 ‘breathe heavily, sigh, blow, snort’) but this interpretation does not give weight to the sense of the verb hlaut ‘had to, was obliged to’.



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