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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Snæbj Lv 1III

[4] níu brúðir eylúðrs ‘the nine women of the island-mill-box [SEA = Ægir]’: The giant Ægir is regarded as a personification of the sea and his daughters are the waves (cf. the kenning dœtr Ægis in Sveinn Norðrdr 1/2 and the Note there). The interpretation combining brúðir and eylúðrs was first suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson (SnE 1848-87, III, 53) but later disputed by Finnur Jónsson (Skj B), who adopted the more awkward skerja ‘of the skerries’ (l. 2) as determinant in this kenning. Kock (NN §572), followed by all later eds including the present one, favours Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s version. In this stanza, however, it is preferable to take ‘the women of Ægir’ literally as mythical beings and not waves, because waves cannot hrœra ‘stir’ the sea. The number of these nine daughters of Ægir and their dwelling út fyr skauti jarðar ‘beyond the corner of the earth’ recall the nine mothers of the god Heimdallr. They also gave birth to him at the edge of the world; see Hyndl 35/5, 7-8 (NK 294): nío báro þann … iotna meyiar við iarðar þrǫm ‘nine giants’ maidens gave birth to him at the edge of the earth’ (see Kommentar III, 790-2).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. 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.
  6. Kommentar = von See, Klaus et al. 1997-. Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. 6 vols (continuing). Heidelberg: Winter.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite ()
  9. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Sveinn, Norðrsetudrápa 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. 399.


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