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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Feima Lv 1VIII (GrL 2)

[1] Feima: Several mss (1006ˣ, 173ˣ, 342ˣ, 109a IIˣ) offer the reading Finna ‘Saami woman’, a variant which makes use of the associations between the north and the Finnar (Saami people), who were credited with magical powers (see Nesheim 1970, 7-14; cf. the power ascribed to the father of Feima and Kleima in GrL 4). Occasionally one and the same figure is described both as giant and Saami, for example the father of Snjófríðr ‘Snow-Beauty’ in HHárf ch. 35 (ÍF 26, 125-7). Snjófríðr herself is called finna in Anon Mhkv 11/6III. Nevertheless Feima is the preferred reading, not only because it occurs in the two oldest mss but also because it rhymes with Kleima, a name which only occurs here: there are several other Old Norse examples of siblings whose names rhyme with one another (cf. Kommentar III, 870 and a further example in Gautr, FSGJ 4, 4-5). The word feima occurs as a name in 25/6 (one of the daughters of Karl, the progenitor of the peasant class) and is used elsewhere as a poetic term for ‘woman’ (LP: feima). The etymology of the word is unclear (AEW: feima), but in Skm the word feima is said to connote shyness (SnE 1998, I, 107; cf. Note to Þul Kvenna I l. 4III). If the name Feima in GrL evokes such associations then it is manifestly ironic, since it stands in great contrast to the bold and ‘forward’ behaviour of the two giantesses, cf. Feima’s description of her sister Kleima as hálfu fremri ‘twice as courageous’ (as herself).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  3. 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.
  4. Kommentar = von See, Klaus et al. 1997-. Kommentar zu den Liedern der Edda. 6 vols (continuing). Heidelberg: Winter.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. FSGJ = Guðni Jónsson, ed. 1954. Fornaldar sögur norðurlanda. 4 vols. [Reykjavík]: Íslendingasagnaútgáfan.
  8. Nesheim, Asbjørn. 1970. ‘Samisk trolldom’. KLNM 15, 7-14.
  9. Internal references
  10. 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Gautreks saga’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 241. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=9> (accessed 16 September 2021)
  11. 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Gríms saga loðinkinna’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 288. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=76> (accessed 16 September 2021)
  12. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Skáldskaparmál’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=112> (accessed 16 September 2021)
  13. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Haralds saga hárfagra’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=140> (accessed 16 September 2021)
  14. Roberta Frank (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Málsháttakvæði 11’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1225.
  15. Not published: do not cite ()
  16. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Kvenna heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 772. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3191> (accessed 16 September 2021)
  17. Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Gríms saga loðinkinna 4 (Kleima Hrímnisdóttir, Lausavísa 1)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 293.

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