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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Ása I 1III

[9] Heimdallr: Son of Óðinn, and a great and ‘holy’ (heilagr) god, called hvíti Áss ‘the white god’, according to Snorri (Gylf, SnE 2005, 25; cf. Þry 15/1-2). According to the poem Heimdalargaldr, which Snorri quotes in Gylf (loc. cit.), Heimdallr was born from nine maidens, all sisters, but no other mythological source aside from this þula and Skm (SnE 1998, I, 19) mentions his father (see Clunies Ross 1994b, 174). He is the watchman of the gods and sits at the edge of heaven near the bridge Bifrǫst, i.e. the quaking path, the rainbow. Cf. the element heimr m. ‘world’ in his name, whose sense as a whole is controversial (it is not clear whether the last element is ‑dallr or ‑dalr; ÍO: Heimdall(u)r, Heimdal(u)r). At the beginning of Ragnarǫk, Heimdallr will blow his horn and awaken the gods. He will then have a battle with Loki, which neither will survive (cf. Vsp 27/1-4, 46, Grí 13, SnE 2005, 25-6 and SnE 1998, I, 19). In Vsp 1/4 (NK 1) humans are addressed as megir Heimdallar ‘sons of Heimdallr’ (see also the prose introduction to the eddic poem Rígsþula, NK 280, and Turville-Petre 1964, 147-55, as well as ÚlfrU Húsdr 8 and Notes to Þul Hrúts ll. 6, 8). The reading ‘Heimballdr’ in C is apparently caused by confusion with the name of another god, Baldr (l. 2).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. 1964. Myth and Religion of the North. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  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. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Clunies Ross, Margaret. 1994b. Prolonged Echoes: Old Norse Myths in Medieval Northern Society. Volume 1: The Myths. VC 7. [Odense]: Odense University Press.
  8. Internal references
  9. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  10. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  11. Not published: do not cite ()
  12. Not published: do not cite ()
  13. Not published: do not cite ()
  14. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Hrúts heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 890.
  15. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Úlfr Uggason, Húsdrápa 8’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 418.

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