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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Kálf Kátr 38VII l. 6

Iðja — of Iði


Iði (noun m.): Iði


[6] Iðja: ‘idju’ all


[5-6] tróðu mála Iðja ‘the stick of the speech of Iði <giant> [GOLD > WOMAN]’: The pers. n. Iði (Iðja gen. sg.) for mss’ ‘idju’ was first suggested by Kahle following Jón Þorkelsson. According to the Skm section of SnE (1998, I, 3), Iði was the name of a very rich giant who, along with his two brothers, measured out their inheritance in mouthfuls of gold. From that myth, according to Snorri, poets could construct kennings for gold that referred to it as ‘speech or words or talk’ of these giants. A similar kenning appears in st. 39/1-2 ýtir raddar Iðja (also by emendation, where the mss have the same form iðju, possibly understood by the scribes as from iðja f. ‘activity, work’). The poet appears to refer once more to the myth underlying these relatively uncommon kennings (cf. Meissner, 227) in 40/5-6 ýtar róms jötna ‘launchers of the speech of giants’ and again in 50/5-6 eigendur jötna róms ‘owners of the speech of giants’. The gold-kenning Iðja rödd ‘voice of Iði <giant>’ also appears in Völsungs rímur III, 20/4 (Finnur Jónsson 1905-22, I, 329).



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