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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þórðr mauraskáld — ÞmaurIII


Vol. 3, 474 —  — ed. Diana Whaley



Nothing is known about this skald (Þmaur) or about the original context of his sole surviving fragment, preserved only in SnE (Skm). Þórðr has been designated an Icelander and tentatively placed in the eleventh century (e.g. in Skj, and by Faulkes in SnE 1998, II, 523), though neither his nickname nor the fragment afford any decisive clues. The form of the poet’s nickname is given as mauraskáld (‘maura’ (, B, C), ‘mꜹra’ (R, A) or ‘mavra’ (W, U)) in all the mss that cite the fragment. If maura- is correct, its meaning is uncertain. Maurr m. means ‘ant’, and it may occur in Norwegian place names with its literal sense or else as a nickname (e.g. Rygh et al. 1897-1936, IV, I, 31, 63, etc.). CVC: maurr cites a metaphorical use of pl. maurar to mean ‘money-bags, in a contemptuous sense’. The first element of Þórðr’s nickname is, meanwhile, treated in some sources as Mœra, gen. pl. of Mœrir, the name for the inhabitants of the Norwegian district of Møre (ON Mœrr; so SnE 1848-87, I, 406 and n., citing Mavrir (strictly Mꜹrom) as a spelling for Mœrir in Fms 10, 386; Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246; Lind 1920-1, col. 264; SnE 1931, 272). A geographical or related term would be well paralleled in nicknames of skalds (see Finnur Jónsson 1907, 246), but the orthographic evidence does not warrant assuming that Þórðr was named Mœraskáld.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  3. SnE 1848-87 = Snorri Sturluson. 1848-87. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar: Edda Snorronis Sturlaei. Ed. Jón Sigurðsson et al. 3 vols. Copenhagen: Legatum Arnamagnaeanum. Rpt. Osnabrück: Zeller, 1966.
  4. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  5. Lind, Eric Henrik. 1920-1. Norsk-isländska personbinamn från medeltiden: samlade ock utgivna med forkläringar. Uppsala: Lundequist.
  6. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  7. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  8. Finnur Jónsson. 1907. ‘Tilnavne i den islandske oldlitteratur’. ÅNOH, 161-381.
  9. Internal references
  10. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  11. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)

other information

Þórðr mauraskáld (Þmaur)

11th century

Skj AI, 419; BI, 388

volume 3

main editor: Diana Whaley


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