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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þul Óðins 1III

[4] Aldafǫðr: The name is generally explained as ‘father of men’ or ‘father of mankind’ (Falk 1924, 3). For the first part of the cpd, cf. ǫld and aldir ‘mankind’; as to the second part -fǫðr, it is stated in Gylf (SnE 2005, 21) that this element is also attested in a number of other Óðinn-heiti listed below and equals faðir ‘father’. However, the interpretation of -fǫðr as a contracted form of faðir is most likely to be the result of a later confusion influenced by Christianity. Kuhn (1937, 56-7) argues that the element -fǫðr (< *faðr) used in this and other cpd names for Óðinn is cognate with Goth. ‑faþs, Gk πόσις ‘lord’. The name Aldafǫðr is also known from Vafþr 4/5, 53/2 and Bragi Þórr 1/2. See also Note to Alfǫðr (st. 2/3).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Kuhn, Hans (1899). 1937. ‘Zum Vers- und Satzbau der Skalden’. ZDA 74, 49-63. Rpt. in Kuhn (1899) 1969-78, I, 468-84.
  3. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  4. Falk, Hjalmar. 1924. Odensheite. Skrifter utg. av Videnskapsselskapet i Kristiania. II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1924, 10. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  5. Internal references
  6. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  7. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Bragi inn gamli Boddason, Þórr’s fishing 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. 47.
  8. Not published: do not cite ()


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