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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eil Þdr 2III

[4] Þorns ‘of Þorn <giant>’: The mss give the variants ‘þoms’ (R), ‘þoíns’ (W) and ‘þorns’ (). Most eds have opted for the reading, although Þorn is attested as a giant’s name only in Eilífr’s work (here and in sts 8/6 and 14/2). Finnur Jónsson (1900b, 377) adduces the name Bǫlþorn (Hávm 140/3, NK 40) in support of this reading, but this is itself a conjecture since the ms. has ‘Bꜹlþors’. Reichardt (1948, 335-6) suggests that Eilífr replaced the common Scandinavian name of the third letter in the runic alphabet, þurs ‘giant’, with Þorn, the third rune in the Old English runic alphabet. This explanation is interesting, but it would be odd indeed if Eilífr knew the Old English runic alphabet. Some less-than-convincing reconstructions of a supposed giant’s name Þomr (Genzmer 1934, 70) or Þámr, related to ModIcel. þám ‘mist, fog during a thaw’ (Kiil 1956, 97), are based on the reading ‘þoms’ in R and, according to Genzmer (1934, 70), also in W, which is incorrect.


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. Finnur Jónsson. 1900b. ‘Þórsdrápa Eilífs Goðrúnarsonar’. Oversigt over det Kgl. Danske videnskabernes selskabs forhandlinger 1900, 369-410.
  4. Kiil, Vilhelm. 1956. ‘Eilífr Goðrúnarson’s Þórsdrápa’. ANF 71, 89-167.
  5. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1948. ‘Die Thórsdrápa des Eilífr Goðrúnarson: Textinterpretation’. PMLA 63, 329-91.
  6. 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.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite ()


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