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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Ásynja 3III

Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Ásynja heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 768.

Anonymous ÞulurÁsynja heiti
234

Grét ok at Óði         gulli Freyja;
heiti eru hennar         Hǫrn ok Þrungva,
Sýr, Skjǫlf ok Gefn         ok it sama Mardǫll;
dœtr eru hennar         Hnoss ok Gersimi.

Freyja grét ok gulli at Óði; heiti hennar eru Hǫrn ok Þrungva, Sýr, Skjǫlf ok Gefn ok it sama Mardǫll; dœtr hennar eru Hnoss ok Gersimi.

Freyja also wept gold for Óðr; her names are Hǫrn and Þrungva, Sýr, Skjálf and Gefn, and likewise Mardǫll; her daughers are Hnoss and Gersimi.

Mss: A(18r), B(8v), 744ˣ(63r), R(42v), Tˣ(44r), C(11v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Grét ok at Óði: ‘Geít ok audarr’ B, Get ok at óði Tˣ    [2] Freyja: ‘fr[…]’ B, ‘freyía’ 744ˣ    [3] heiti eru hennar: ‘[…]’ B, ‘heití eru hennar’ 744ˣ    [4] Hǫrn ok Þrungva: hǫrn ok þungra A, B, C, ‘[…]’ R, ‘hio᷎rn þrungra’ Tˣ    [5] Sýr Skjǫlf ok Gefn: ‘sýr skíalf ok […]f[…]’ B, ‘sýr skíalf ok gefn’ 744ˣ, ‘[…]’ R, sýr skjalf gefn Tˣ, ‘syr skialf ok giof’ C    [6] ok it sama Mardǫll: ‘ok híd[…]a mardo᷎ll’ B, ‘ok hið . . ma mardo᷎ll’ 744ˣ, ‘[…]’ R    [7] dœtr eru hennar: ‘dętr eru h[…]r’ B, ‘dętr eru hennar’ 744ˣ, ‘[…]’ R    [8] Hnoss ok Gersimi: ‘hno[…] ok gers[…]’ B, ‘hnoss ok gersíme’ 744ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 658, Skj BI, 661, Skald I, 325-6, NN §1256, 2565; SnE 1848-87, I, 556-7, II, 474, 557, 617, SnE 1931, 198, SnE 1998, I, 115.

Notes: [All]: The large capital letter ‘G’ in R and space left in most likely imply that in both mss this stanza was regarded not as a part of the þula with the names of the Ásynjur but as a separate list of heiti. In ms. R, ll. 4-7 are lacking, but there is a sign written above the line after hennar (l. 3), which could have referred to text written in the right-hand margin, most likely the missing four lines, but that addition has been cut off. Ms. A is therefore the main ms. for the present stanza, and the order of the mss has been changed accordingly. — [1-2] Freyja grét ok gulli at Óði ‘Freyja also wept gold for Óðr’: In Gylf (SnE 2005, 29), it is told that Freyja was married to a certain Óðr (cf. mey Óðs ‘Óðr’s girl’ for Freyja in Vsp 25/6 (NK 6); see also SnE 1998, I, 30, as well as ESk Øxfl 1-3, 9 and Anon Bjark 5). Óðr is considered to be an older form of Óðinn, and it supposedly originated from Gmc *wōþu-; cf. ON óðr ‘mind, wit, soul, sense; song, poetry’ and the adj. óðr ‘frantic, furious’ (AEW: Óðinn and Óðr 2; see also ARG II, 87). Snorri tells us that when Óðr went away on long travels, Freyja stayed behind weeping, and her tears were red gold. For this reason skalds should call gold ‘Freyja’s weeping’ (cf. also Skm, SnE 1998, I, 40, 43). According to Snorri (Gylf, SnE 2005, 29), Freyja went in search of Óðr when he was missing. While on her journeys among various peoples she assumed different names, four of which (Mardǫll, Hǫrn, Gefn, Sýr) are mentioned both in the story in SnE and in the present stanza. — [4] Hǫrn: This name is usually connected with ON hǫrr m. ‘flax, linen’ (cf. ModSwed. dialects hör). Such place names as Härnevi (< ON *Hǫrnavé ‘temple of Hǫrn’) attested in Uppland, Sweden, as well as Järnevi (in Östergötland) of the same origin, most likely imply that there was an old and locally restricted cult of Hǫrn (Turville-Petre 1964, 178). The name is frequently used by skalds as a base-word in kennings for ‘woman’, and it is probably also listed in Þul Kvenna II 1/7 (by emendation; see Note there). — [4] Þrungva: The mss have ‘þrungra’ () and ‘þungra’ (A, B and C). The latter form may have been confused with the Old Norse adj. þungr ‘heavy, weighty’. Although Þungra occurs twice in skaldic poetry of the C12th and C14th, and in both instances in kennings for ‘woman’ (in Anon Pl 50/3VII and EGils Guðkv 35/3IV, which contain other heiti known only from the þulur), Finnur Jónsson believes that it is a corrupt form of Þrungva (Skj B; LP: þungra; see also SnE 1998, II, 526). Kock retains the reading Þungra in Skald (see also NN §1256). — [5] Sýr: This name for Freyja can hardly mean anything but ‘sow’, and it refers to her function as a goddess of fertility (Turville-Petre 1964, 176; ARG II, 328). Pigs were associated with Freyja as well as with her brother Freyr (see Yngvi-Freyr in Þul Ása I l. 7, Þul Ása II l. 4), and in Hyndl 5-7, this goddess is said to be riding her boar Hildisvín to Valhǫll. For other suggested interpretations of this name (e.g. as dea Syria, the goddess of Syria), see ÍO: Sýr 3. In skaldic poetry the name occurs as a determinant in kennings for ‘gold’ and as a base-word in kennings for ‘giantess’ and ‘valkyrie’. — [5] Skjǫlf: The origin of Skjǫlf is uncertain. According to Schröder (1941, 155), the name means ‘pod’ (cf. OHG sceliva ‘husk, shell’), thus referring to Freyja as a goddess of fertility. ÍO: Skjálf 2 connects the name with skjálf ‘shelf, seat’. For a discussion of the etymology of this name, see Gade (1985b). As a name for Freyja, Skjǫlf is found only in the present þula, but it is the name of a legendary queen in Þjóð Yt 9/3I. — [5] Gefn: This name for Freyja is usually derived from the strong verb gefa ‘give’, and thus implies that the goddess is the giver of riches, fertility and wellbeing (see ARG II, 293, 329). This must also be the meaning of Gefjun (see Note to st. 1/5 above), but she appears in myth as a separate goddess. Ström (1967, 189) identifies Gefjun with Freyja, however, and considers her a hypostasis of the latter. The name Gefn is often found in kennings for ‘valkyrie’, ‘woman’ and ‘giantess’. — [6] Mardǫll: The first element in this name is probably marr m. ‘sea’, and the second may be related to the personal names Dalla and Dellingr (see Note to Þul Dverga 3/7); cf. OE deall ‘proud, celebrated’ and MIr. dellrad ‘glitter’ (ÍO: Dalla 3). De Vries (ARG II, 328) believes that the name is connected with Freyja’s precious property, the necklace Brísingamen, and has a parallel in Heimdallr (see Þul Ása I l. 9). However, based on the variant reading ‘Marþavll’ in ms. U(10r) of SnE, Pipping (1925, 6) argues that the second element in this name is identical with þǫll f. ‘fir-tree’; cf. ModIcel. marþöll ‘western hemlock’ (Tsuga heterophylla), a type of fir-tree growing near the sea. Other than in Gylf (SnE 2005, 29), the name occurs only as a determinant in kennings for ‘gold’ of the type tár Mardallar ‘tears of Mardǫll’. — [7]: To avoid having a non-alliterating noun (dœtr ‘daughters’) in the first lift of this line, Kock emends the reading to Eru hennar dœtr, a Type B-line with the alliteration on hennar ‘her’ (see Skald I; NN §2565). — [8] Hnoss: See this name in st. 2/2 above, where it is listed among the names of other goddesses. — [8] Gersimi: Lit. ‘jewel’. Here, as in Yng, two names of the daughters of Freyja and Óðr are given (Yng ch. 10, ÍF 26, 25): Dœtr hennar hétu Hnoss ok Gersimi. Þær váru fagrar mjǫk. Af þeira nafni eru svá kallaðir inir dýrstu gripir ‘Her daughters were called Hnoss and Gersimi. They were very beautiful. Their names are given to the most precious of valuables’. Gylf (SnE 2005, 29) mentions only one child of Freyja and Óðr, and that is Hnoss.

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. 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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  6. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  7. 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.
  8. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1985b. ‘Skjalf’. ANF 100, 59-71.
  9. Turville-Petre, Gabriel. 1964. Myth and Religion of the North. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.
  10. 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.
  11. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  12. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  13. SnE 1931 = Snorri Sturluson. 1931. Edda Snorra Sturlusonar. Ed. Finnur Jónsson. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  14. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  15. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  16. ARG = Vries, Jan de. 1956-7. Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  17. Ström, Folke. 1967. Nordisk hedendom: Tro och sed i förkristen tid. 2nd edn. Gothenburg: Akademiförlaget.
  18. Pipping, Hugo. 1925. ‘Eddastudier I’. Studier i nordisk filologi 16. Skrifter utgivna av Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland 182. Helsingfors: Svenska litteratursällskapet i Finland.
  19. Schröder, Franz Rolf. 1941. Untersuchungen zur germanischen und vergleichenden Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. Tübingen: Verlag J. C. B. Mohr.
  20. Internal references
  21. 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].
  22. Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Bjarkamál in fornu 5’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 502.
  23. (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 27 September 2021)
  24. (forthcoming), ‘ Snorri Sturluson, Gylfaginning’ 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=113> (accessed 27 September 2021)
  25. (forthcoming), ‘ Heimskringla, Ynglinga saga’ 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=158> (accessed 27 September 2021)
  26. Jonna Louis-Jensen and Tarrin Wills (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Plácitusdrápa 50’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 212-13.
  27. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Dverga heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 697.
  28. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kvenna heiti ókend 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. 960.
  29. Not published: do not cite (EGils Guðkv 35IV)
  30. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Øxarflokkr 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. 141.
  31. Not published: do not cite ()
  32. Not published: do not cite ()
  33. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Ása heiti 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. 754. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3187> (accessed 27 September 2021)
  34. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Ása heiti 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. 760. <https://skaldic.org/m.php?p=text&i=3189> (accessed 27 September 2021)
  35. Edith Marold (ed.) 2012, ‘Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, Ynglingatal 9’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 22.
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