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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þul Hrafns 2III

Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Hrafns heiti 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. 946.

Anonymous ÞulurHrafns heiti

Krummi, krumsi,         korpr, boringi,
spori, ártali         ok árflognir.

Krummi, krumsi, korpr, boringi, spori, ártali ok árflognir.

Crook-clawed one, crooked one, raven, borer, informer, year-counter and early-flier.

Mss: A(20v), B(9v) (SnE)

Readings: [1] Krummi: om. B

Editions: Skj AI, 686, Skj BI, 676, Skald I, 341; SnE 1848-87, II, 488, 572.

Notes: [1] krummi, krumsi ‘crook-clawed one, crooked one’: The first of these heiti is a pet name for ‘raven’ (krummi m. lit. ‘crook-clawed one’ or ‘crook-beak’, CVC: krummi). Cf. krumma f. ‘crooked hand, paws’ and New Norw. krump, krumt ‘raven’. The heiti is frequently used in popular folk songs (see, e.g. Krummavísur, Jón Þórarinsson 2012, 368), but it does not occur in skaldic poetry. Krumsi m. is a hap. leg. derived from krummi. Krummi is omitted in B, but it is included in LaufE (krumli papp10ˣ, 743ˣ, krummle eda krumme ‘krummle or krumme’ 2368ˣ). Neither krummi nor krumsi is attested in the rímur. — [2] korpr (m.) ‘raven’: This name is probably not a loanword although it resembles OFr. corb ‘raven’ (< Lat. corvus); rather, it is more likely to be an onomatopoetic word (cf. ModSwed. dialects karpa, garpa ‘gabble’; AEW: korpr). Other than in the present þula, the word is attested only as a nickname in Old Norse (Flat 1860-8, II, 640; but cf. ModNorw., ModSwed. korp ‘raven’). — [2] boringi (m.) ‘borer’: A hap. leg. that can be connected with the weak verb bora ‘bore, drill’. — [3] spori (m.) ‘informer’: A hap. leg., possibly related to the weak verb spyrja ‘ask, inform’ (so AEW: spori 2). If so, the word refers to the raven as a prophetic bird. Alternatively, the heiti has been explained as ‘one with spurs’ (from spori m. ‘spur’; so ÍO: spor, spori). — [3] ártali (m.) ‘year-counter’: See Þul Tungls l. 6 and Note there. The word is not used as a heiti for ‘raven’ in poetry.


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  5. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  6. Flat 1860-8 = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and C. R. Unger, eds. 1860-8. Flateyjarbók. En samling af norske konge-sagaer med indskudte mindre fortællinger om begivenheder i og udenfor Norge samt annaler. 3 vols. Christiania (Oslo): Malling.
  7. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  8. Jón Þórarinsson. 2012. Íslensk tónlistarsaga 1000-1800. Reykjavík: Tónlistarsafn Íslands and Menntamálaráðuneytið.
  9. Internal references
  10. Elena Gurevich 2017, ‘ Anonymous, Tungls heiti’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 911. <> (accessed 22 September 2021)
  11. (forthcoming), ‘ Unattributed, Laufás Edda’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. . <> (accessed 22 September 2021)

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