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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Ótt Lv 3I l. 8

Naumu — with a Nauma


Nauma (noun f.): Nauma


[8] Naumu: so 73aˣ, 71ˣ, Nauma DG8, 76aˣ, nômu Tóm


[8] Naumu ‘with a Nauma <giantess>’: Nauma features quite frequently in woman-kennings, providing the base-word in the same way that names of goddesses and valkyries frequently do (LP: 1. nauma; Meissner 407), and hence may have been regarded as a goddess name, as seemingly in Þjóð Yt 22/5-6, though no such deity is mentioned in SnE or elsewhere. In the present instance, however, Nauma may be thought of as a giantess, since the stanza is set in a cave, and in the kenning salr Naumu ‘hall of Nauma [CAVE]’ in Grett Lv 28/6V (Gr 60) Nauma seems to be a giantess, denizen of rocks and caves. The two possibilities could perhaps be reconciled by adopting Brøgger’s suggestion (1924-6, 26) that Nauma was a minor deity whose domain is the abodes of the dead – grave-mounds and cairns.



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