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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Þorgþ I 3III

[4] Gísl ok Falhófnir ‘Gísl and Falhófnir’: These names may mean ‘gleaming one’ (cf. geisli m. ‘beam’; see AEW: gísl 3) and either ‘one with pale hoofs’ (from the adj. fǫlr ‘pale’) or, less likely, ‘one with hidden hoofs’ (from the strong verb fela ‘hide’, perhaps a horse with hair-covered hoofs); both possibilities are entertained in AEW: Falhófnir. This line is apparently taken directly from the list of the names of horses owned by the Æsir in Grí 30/4 (NK 63): Gísl oc Falhófnir. The first name also occurs with metathesis as Gils in mss R, U and C (so also Gylf, SnE 2005, 17), but it is given as Gísl in the other mss (and in Þul Hesta 1/4). Neither form appears as a name for a horse in skaldic poetry.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  4. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. Internal references
  6. Not published: do not cite (GíslV)
  7. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  8. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Hesta heiti 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 935.
  9. Not published: do not cite ()


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