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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Konunga 2III

[5] niflungr (m.) ‘one of the Niflungar’: A legendary family (MHG Nibelungen), the sons of the Burgundian king Gjúki. The sg. form, which must be a new formation from the pl. Niflungar, is attested only in eddic poetry; cf. geir-Niflungr ‘spear-Niflungr’ in Akv 25/2 (NK 244), where it refers to Gunnarr Gjúkason. In Vǫlsunga saga (Vǫls 1965, ch. 40, 73) it is used as a pers. n., Niflungr Hǫgnason. According to Skm (SnE 1998, I, 103), the Niflungar were the descendants of King Nefir, one of the sons of Hálfdan gamli (see Introduction above; cf. also Flat 1860-8, I, 25-6). As a common noun, niflungr is not attested elsewhere in skaldic poetry, but it appears frequently in the rímur (Finnur Jónsson 1926-8: niflungr). The provenance of the word is unsure and disputed.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Finnur Jónsson. 1926-8. Ordbog til de af samfund til udg. af gml. nord. litteratur udgivne Rímur samt til de af Dr. O. Jiriczek udgivne Bósarímur. SUGNL 51. Copenhagen: Jørgensen.
  3. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  4. 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.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Vǫls 1965 = Finch, R. G., ed. and trans. 1965. The Saga of the Volsungs. London: Nelson.
  7. Internal references
  8. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Skáldskaparmál’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 5 August 2021)
  9. Not published: do not cite ()
  10. 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Vǫlsunga saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 790. <> (accessed 5 August 2021)


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