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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gríml Lv 3VIII (GrL 5)

[8] broddr eða krumma ‘weapon-point or claw’: A reference to the ‘weapons’ of Grímr and the troll-women respectively, illustrating the difference between the ‘civilised technology’ employed by the human being Grímr and the ‘primitive’ method of combat employed by the giantesses, who fight with their bare hands; cf. Ket 26/1-2 and Note to [All]. The literal meaning of krumma or krymma is ‘[hand with] bent or crooked [fingers]’; in other texts it is used of the (large) hands of giants and also of the large and/or ugly hands of human beings (ÞorstBm ch. 7, FSGJ 4, 334; Kjaln ch. 15, ÍF 14, 35; Mork, ÍF 23, 156; Vígl ch. 21, ÍF 14, 113-14). The closest parallel to the stanza in GrL appears in HHj, in the part of the poem known as Hrímgerðarmál ‘The Speech of Hrímgerðr’: in HHj 22 (NK 145) the giantess Hrímgerðr threatens Atli, who holds watch in the bow of Helgi Hjǫrvarðsson’s ship, with the words: Atli, gacc þú á land, | ef afli treystiz, | ok hittomc í víc Varins, | rifia rétti | er þú munt, reccr, fá, | ef þú mér í krymmor kømr! ‘Atli, go on land, if you trust in your strength, and let us meet in the bay of Varinn; it is a straightening of the ribs that you will get, man, if you fall into my clutches’.


  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. ÍF 14 = Kjalnesinga saga. Ed. Jóhannes Halldórsson. 1959.
  4. Kjaln = Kjalnesinga saga.
  5. ÞorstBm = Þorsteins þáttr bæjarmagns.
  6. ÍF 23-4 = Morkinskinna. Ed. Ármann Jakobsson and Þórður Ingi Guðjónsson. 2009.
  7. Internal references
  8. Not published: do not cite (VíglV)
  9. 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Gríms saga loðinkinna’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 288.
  10. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Morkinskinna (Mork)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].
  11. Not published: do not cite ()
  12. Beatrice La Farge (ed.) 2017, ‘Ketils saga hœngs 26 (Ketill hœngr, Lausavísur 16)’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 578.


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