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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eil Þdr 13III

[5, 7] Jólnis funhristis ættir ‘the group of the shaker of the flame of Jólnir <= Óðinn> [(lit. ‘group of the flame-shaker of Jólnir’) SWORD > WARRIOR > WARRIORS = Þórr and Þjálfi]’: Here again, a kenning for ‘warriors’ is used for Þórr and Þjálfi (see Marold 1990a, 122-8 and Introduction above). The warrior is described as ‘shaker of the sword’ and the sword is called ‘flame of Jólnir <= Óðinn>’. For the emendation funhristis see below. Ætt is not only a term for ‘family, kin’ but is often used as a general term for ‘group’ (LP: ætt 2), and together with the gen. it functions as a paraphrase here (‘the group of the warrior’ are ‘warriors’). That ætt is used in pl. can be explained by the fact that occasionally the pl. of a word is used for the sg. for metrical reasons; here the sg. is ætt, but the cadence requires two syllables (hence ættir rather than ætt). Finnur Jónsson (1900b, 391; Skj B and LP: funristis) and Reichardt (1948, 369) could not explain mss’ ‘funristis’ (R, ) or ‘funristil’ (W), but Kock (NN §459, followed by Davidson 1983, 620) suggests emendation to funhristis ‘flame-thrower’, which he then combines with fasta ‘of lightning’ to get a Þórr-kenning. As Reichardt (1948, 369) rightly observes, however, fasti and fun are synonyms; hence fasti cannot determine fun.


  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  6. Marold, Edith. 1990a. ‘Skaldendichtung und Mythologie’. In Pàroli 1990, 107-30.
  7. Finnur Jónsson. 1900b. ‘Þórsdrápa Eilífs Goðrúnarsonar’. Oversigt over det Kgl. Danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger 1900, 369-410.
  8. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1948. ‘Die Thórsdrápa des Eilífr Goðrúnarson: Textinterpretation’. PMLA 63, 329-91.


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