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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þorgrímsþula I — Þul Þorgþ IIII

Anonymous Þulur

Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Þorgrímsþula I’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 669.

 

The three stanzas below (Anon Þorgþ I), which enumerate names of mythical and legendary horses, some with their riders, is a fragment of a poem called Þorgrímsþula ‘Þorgrímr’s þula’ transmitted in mss R (main ms.), , U, A, C of SnE (Skm) as well as in papp10ˣ, 2368ˣ and 743ˣ of LaufE. The names of all the horses are also given in RE 1665(Gg), but that list is clearly based on a ms. of LaufE and has no independent value. In SnE, Þorgþ I is recorded in the section of Skm which discusses poetic names (heiti) for various concepts. There it is the first of two blocks of stanzas containing horse-heiti and it is followed by another anonymous poem, Kálfsvísa (Anon Kálfv 1-4). In all of the extant mss except U the introduction to the stanzas gives the name of the poem (e.g. ms. R, SnE 1998, I, 88): þessi eru hesta heiti í Þorgrímsþulu ‘these are the horse-names in Þorgrímr’s þula’. Ms. U only has a rubric, which also mentions the preceding heiti for ‘stag’: fra hirti ok hesta nofnvm agietvm ‘about the stag and splendid names of horses’, with a space left directly before the beginning of Þorgþ I. In LaufE, the þula is introduced by the clauses Hesta heiti eru þessi talin j Þorgrims þulu ‘These names of horses are enumerated in Þorgrímr’s þula (papp10ˣ) and Hesta heiti talinn j Þorgrijms þulu ‘Names of horses enumerated in Þorgrímr’s þula’ (2368ˣ; closely similar in 743ˣ). Although the poem is anonymous, Finnur Jónsson (LH II, 175) believes that its title may contain the poet’s name, and he argues that this Þorgrímr was an Icelander, but nothing further is known either about the poem or about its authorship. However, since the enumeration of horse-heiti is followed in Skm by a stanza containing another poetic list of heiti for ‘oxen’, which, as stated in mss R, and C, was also taken from Þorgrímsþula (see Anon Þorgþ II), it is likely that both fragments cited in Skm belong to a lost poem of undetermined subject and size. On the term þula and the so-called þulur, i.e. versified lists of names, see Introduction to Anon Þulur. In the present edition, many of the translations of the horses’ names follow Faulkes (1987, 136). In Skj BII, 610 the metre of the poem is given as málaháttr, but in LH II, 175 Finnur Jónsson describes it as ljóðaháttr. The latter is more accurate because, even though st. 1 is a mixture of málaháttr (ll. 1-4) and ljóðaháttr (ll. 5-7), sts 2-3 are composed in ljóðaháttr with a third and sixth full line with internal alliteration.

References

  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. Faulkes, Anthony, trans. 1987. Snorri Sturluson. Edda. Everyman’s Library. London and Rutland, Vermont: J. M. Dent & Sons and Charles E. Tuttle Co., Inc. Rpt. with new chronology and synopsis 2005.
  4. LH = Finnur Jónsson. 1920-4. Den oldnorske og oldislandske litteraturs historie. 3 vols. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Gad.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Internal references
  7. 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].
  8. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)
  9. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kálfsvísa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 664.
  10. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Þorgrímsþula II’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 675.
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Laufás Edda (LaufE)’ 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].
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Information about a text: poem, sequence of stanzas, or prose work

This page is used for different resources. For groups of stanzas such as poems, you will see the verse text and, where published, the translation of each stanza. These are also links to information about the individual stanzas.

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