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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eil Þdr 1III

[5, 6] geðreynir Gauts herþrumu ‘mind-tester of the Gautr <= Óðinn> of host-thunder [BATTLE > WARRIOR = Þórr > = Loki]’: The context clearly points to Loki as the referent of the kenning. The kenning Gauts herþrumu is a warrior-kenning consisting of a god’s name as the base-word qualified by a battle-kenning (Reichardt 1948, 332-3), but as a determinant to geðreynir ‘mind-tester’ it must refer either to Þórr or to Óðinn. There are several instances where warrior-kennings are used for Þórr and Þjálfi (see Introduction above). Loki is attested as a confidant of both Óðinn and Þórr. Loki is Þórr’s companion in many of the god’s dealing with the giants, e.g. in the stories about Þórr and the giants Þrymr (Þrymskviða), Hrungnir (Haustlǫng) and Útgarðaloki (Gylf, SnE 2005, 37-43). But Loki is also a companion of Óðinn, e.g. in Haustlǫng. In this stanza, two arguments point to Þórr, namely, the context of the stanza that shows Loki talking to Þórr and trying to persuade him, and, secondly, the problem with interpreting Gauts herþrumu as an Óðinn-kenning since the base-word Gautr is an Óðinn-heiti in its own right. Nevertheless, other eds have proposed that this is an Óðinn-kenning (Finnur Jónsson 1900b, 376; Meissner 254 with reservations) or a proper Þórr-kenning (Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1851, 17; Genzmer 1934, 69; Kiil 1956, 95). A rearrangement of the kenning (Davidson 1983, 568-9) to geðreynir Hergauts þrumu ‘temper-tryer of the War-Gautr of thunder (i.e. of the Óðinn of thunder, i.e. of Þórr)’ is not necessary.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  3. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  4. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. Finnur Jónsson. 1900b. ‘Þórsdrápa Eilífs Goðrúnarsonar’. Oversigt over det Kgl. Danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger 1900, 369-410.
  6. Kiil, Vilhelm. 1956. ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson’s Þórsdrápa’. ANF 71, 89-167.
  7. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1948. ‘Die Thórsdrápa des Eilífr Goðrúnarson: Textinterpretation’. PMLA 63, 329-91.
  8. Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 1851. Tvö brot af Haustlaung og Þórsdrápa. Reykjavík: Prentað á kostnað skólasjóðsins.
  9. Genzmer, Felix. 1934. ‘Die ersten Gesätze der Thorsdrapa’. In [n. a.]. 1934. Studia Germanica tillägnade Ernst Albin Kock den 6 december 1934. Lund: Gleerup; Copenhagen: Levin & Munksgaard, 1934, 59-73.
  10. Internal references
  11. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)


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