Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.



Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

Menu Search

Þul Elds 1III/4 — él ‘of storm’

Gims heiti vilk         greppum segja:
Ægis bróðir         ok élreka,
eldr, eimr, usli,         úði, skerkir,
hrǫtuðr ok hrótgandr,         hrímnir, eimi.

Vilk segja greppum heiti gims: bróðir Ægis ok élreka, eldr, eimr, usli, úði, skerkir, hrǫtuðr ok hrótgandr, hrímnir, eimi.

I will tell men the names for blaze: brother of Ægir <sea-giant> and of storm-driver, fire, smoke, conflagration, swarming, noise-maker, stumbler and roof-wolf, soot-maker, vapour.


[3-4] bróðir Ægis ok élreka ‘brother of Ægir <sea-giant> and of storm-driver’: Here, as in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 39), fire (eldr), wind (élreki) and sea (Ægir) are represented as three brothers, sons of the giant Fornjótr (see Notes to Þul Jǫtna I 3/5, Þul Veðra 1/8 and Sveinn Norðrdr 2/2). In Skm (loc. cit.), fire is also called bróðir vinds ok Ægis ‘brother of the wind and of Ægir’ (for Ægir see Þul Sjóvar 1/2). Thus the m. nom. élreki ‘storm-driver’ in A is incorrect, since this is a term for ‘wind’ and not for ‘fire’ (cf. Þul Veðra 1/2), and the B variant élreka (gen.) has been adopted here. Neither of these poetic terms, which are rather mythological kennings than heiti, is otherwise used in poetry. The B variant bróður ‘brother’ (here most likely in the gen.) may indicate a connection with heiti gims ‘the names for blaze’ in l. 1 and suggests that, in B, ll. 3-4 were regarded as belonging to the introductory clause of the þula rather than to the list of fire-heiti proper (‘I will tell men the names of blaze, of the brother of Ægir and of storm-driver’). It seems that Þul Elds, like most other þulur, originally started with the most common term for ‘fire’, i.e. eldr (cf. the initial position of this word in l. 5), while the introduction (ll. 1-4) was probably an addition by a later compiler (cf. Gurevich 2008, 356-9).



Log in

This service is only available to members of the relevant projects, and to purchasers of the skaldic volumes published by Brepols.
This service uses cookies. By logging in you agree to the use of cookies on your browser.


Word in text

This view shows information about an instance of a word in a text.