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skaldic

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Ásynja 4III

Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Ásynja heiti 4’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 770.

Anonymous ÞulurÁsynja heiti
345

Enn eru aðrar         Óðins meyjar:
Hildr ok Gǫndul,         Hlǫkk, Mist, Skǫgul;
þá es Hrund ok Eir,         Hrist, Skuld talið.

Enn eru aðrar meyjar Óðins: Hildr ok Gǫndul, Hlǫkk, Mist, Skǫgul; þá es Hrund ok Eir, Hrist, Skuld talið.

There are yet other maids of Óðinn: Hildr and Gǫndul, Hlǫkk, Mist, Skǫgul; then Hrund and Eir, Hrist, Skuld are listed.

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

Readings: [4] Hlǫkk: ‘[…]k’ B, ‘hlock’ 744ˣ    [5] Hrund: ‘hrind’ A;    Eir: so C, mist R, Tˣ, om. A, ‘[…]’ B, ‘mist’ 744ˣ    [6] Hrist Skuld talið: Hrist ok Skuld talið A, ‘[…]alen’ B, ‘hrist ok skulld talen’ 744ˣ

Editions: Skj AI, 659, Skj BI, 661, Skald I, 326; SnE 1848-87, I, 557, II, 474, 557, 617, SnE 1931, 198, SnE 1998, I, 115.

Notes: [All]: In ms. this stanza starts with a capital letter and it is separated from st. 3 by an empty space (see Introduction above). — [1-2]: The maids of Óðinn listed in this stanza are valkyries (valkyrjur ‘choosers of the slain’), whose duty, as stated in the eddic Grí 36 and in Gylf (SnE 2005, 30), is to serve ale to the warriors (einherjar) in Valhǫll. Óðinn sends the valkyries to battles to allot death to warriors and govern victory. All valkyries mentioned here are enumerated in Þul Valkyrja as well (see Notes to the respective stanzas). As is the case with the other names of valkyries used in poetic language, these occur as base-words in kennings for ‘woman’ and as determinants mostly in kennings for ‘man’ and ‘battle’. — [3] Hildr: This is the commonly used poetic term for ‘battle’ and hence a personification of battle (Vsp 30/7, Grí 36/4, HHund II 29/2 and SnE 2005, 30). See also Þul Valkyrja 2/3. — [3] Gǫndul: This valkyrie is also mentioned in Vsp 30/7, but her name does not appear in Grí 36 and Gylf. See also Note to Þul Valkyrja 2/1. — [4] Hlǫkk: See Note to Þul Valkyrja 1/4. — [4] Mist: See Note to Þul Valkyrja 1/3. — [4] Skǫgul: See Note to Þul Valkyrja 1/8. — [5] Hrund: See Note to Þul Valkyrja 2/4. The name of this valkyrie does not appear in Grí 36 and Gylf.  — [5, 6] Eir, Hrist, Skuld: This reading is attested only in ms. C (and adopted in Skj B and Skald). Mss R and have Mist rather than Eir, while in ms. A the second name is omitted (illegible in B, but ‘mist’ in 744ˣ). The confusion here is evidently caused by the next name, Hrist, since Hrist and Mist traditionally appear together (cf. Grí 36/1 (NK 64): Hrist oc Mist and Þul Valkyrja 1/3: Hrist, Mist; see also Note there). Mist is already mentioned in l. 4, however. The generally accepted reading of l. 5, based on ms. C, is problematic because Eir, which means ‘peace, clemency’, is not a valkyrie but one of the Ásynjur whose name is frequently found in kennings for ‘woman’. It also occurs in skaldic poetry as a half-kenning denoting ‘woman’, and it is mentioned in Þul Kvenna II 3/3. In Gylf (SnE 2005, 29), Snorri characterises Eir as an extremely good physician (leiknir beztr). Hence her name does not belong in this list of warlike women. — [6] Skuld: The name means ‘future destiny’ (cf. the verb skulu ‘must’ and skuld f. ‘debt’). This is the name of one of the three norns in Vsp 20/8 who are mentioned in the next stanza of the present þula. Later in the same eddic poem Skuld is given as the name of a valkyrie, however (Vsp 30/5 (NK 7)): Sculd helt scildi ‘Skuld held a shield’. Here she is the first of the riding valkyries seen by the prophetess (vǫlva). It is perhaps owing to these passages from Vsp that the norn Skuld is identified with Skuld the valkyrie in Gylf (SnE 2005, 30): Guðr ok Rota ok norn in yngsta er Skuld heitir ríða jafnan at kjósa val ok ráða vígum ‘Guðr and Rota and the youngest norn, who is called Skuld, always ride to choose those to be slain and to decide the killings’. See also this name in Þul Valkyrja 1/7.

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. 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.
  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. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  9. Internal references
  10. Not published: do not cite (EirV)
  11. Not published: do not cite (GylfIII)
  12. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Heiti valkyrja 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. 969.
  13. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Heiti valkyrja 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 970.
  14. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kvenna heiti ókend 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. 963.
  15. Not published: do not cite ()
  16. Not published: do not cite ()
  17. Not published: do not cite ()
  18. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Heiti valkyrja’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 968.
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