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Old Norse Online

Lesson 9

Todd B. Krause and Jonathan Slocum

Aesir and Vanir

The gods are divided into two major races or lineages, the Aesir and the Vanir. Reckoned among the Aesir are those gods best known from tellings and retellings of Norse myths. Chief among the Aesir is Odin, a divine father in much the same sense as Zeus or Jupiter. He is the god of poetic inspiration, mystery, and magic. He is invoked by warriors as their patron. He is married to the goddess Frigg, who knows men's fates. The god Thor is counted first among the sons of Odin. He is a warrior god and married to Sif. Bragi is another son of Odin, and also linked to poetic speech. He is married to the goddess Idunn, who keeps the apples of eternal youth. Odin's son Baldr, husband of Nanna, was killed by the blind god Hod. Tyr is also Odin's son, a god of war who lost his hand to the wolf Fenrir. Heimdall is the herald of the final battle, which brings destruction to the gods. His nemesis, Loki, is a fickle creature, part god, part demon. Loki married Sigyn, but produced with the giantess Angrboda three notorious offspring: the wolf Fenrir, the World Serpent Jormungand, and Hel, ruler of the other world.

The Vanir appear to be on equal footing with the Aesir. One of the Vanir, Njord, is god of seafaring, fishing and wealth. He married the contrariminded giantess Skadi. Njord begat the twins Freyr and Freyja, who were also lovers. Freyr married the giantess Gerd, and Freyja married Od. Both Freyr and Freyja are gods of fertility and produce.

Occupying a status somewhat beneath these two races are a number of other lesser deities: Hoenir, Kvasir, Gefjon, Vali, Vili, Ve, and Vidar, among others. Several types of supernatural creatures appear in Old Norse literature: dwarfs, elves, norns, trolls, witches, valkyries. Chief among such creatures are the jtnar, a term usually translated as 'giants', but whose physical features are variable enough that the term only loosely applies. These 'giants' are the age-old rivals of the gods, and many stories tell of the conflict between the races.

Odin and Thor

Odin figures prominently in Norse mythology. The roles, however, in which he is found are so numerous and varied that any attemps to specify Odin as god of one or two specifc subjects or areas are generally impossible or impractical, and basically fundamentally misguided. A survey of some examples from Odin's host of epithets shows how fluid and changing Norse conceptions of the gods could be. Notable epithets are Alfr (All-father), Valfr (Father of the Slain), Hangagu (God of the Hanged), Haptagu (God of Captives), Farmagu (God of Cargoes). These are but a small fraction of a much larger collection. A list found in Grmnisml includes Hnikarr (Inflamer), Bileygr (Weak-eyed), Bleygr (Fiery-eyed), Blverkr (Evil-doer), Shttr (Long-hood), Sigfr (Father of Victory), Blindi (the Blind One), Gndlir (the One with the Magic Staff), Jlkr (Gelding), Kjalarr (Feeder), Viurr (Destroyer), Yggr (Terror), Vfur (Wind), Veratr (God of Men). Each of these presumably captures some characteristic or mythological exploit ascribed to Odin, and shows the malleable nature of the Norse belief system. Another common epithet, Grmr (the Masked One), along with Shttr above, probably describes Odin's propensity for traveling in disguise. The appellation Hr is alternately translated as 'the High One' or 'the Blind One', depending on the etymology chosen. The references to blindness speak of the eye Odin gave in exchange for a drink from the wisdom-giving well Mimisbrunn.

Lest the panoply of epithets leave the impression that Odin is pure enigma, a few of his more dominant characteristics may be pointed out. First and foremost, Odin is the patron of poets and kings, as well as warriors and those involved in magic. His patronage, however, is tinged with treachery and deceit. In some stories Odin will spur a faithful warrior to victory, only to see that he is cut down later to join Odin in Valhalla. His willingness to deceive is underscored by his use of disguises and false names, and his shape-changing ability. This underhandedness is countered by a constant devotion to knowledge, sacrificing himself on a tree for wisdom, and trading an eye for a draught from the well of knowledge. Odin questions the wise, makes the dead talk, and sends the ravens Hugin and Munin to all corners of the earth in search of news.

Thor, by contrast, is a straighforward warrior. He constantly battles the enemies of the gods. Thor carries three monikers of his warrior status: the hammer Mjollnir, a belt of strength, and iron gloves. Thor is unrivalled in strength among the gods. He is also renowned for his drinking prowess. Many of Thor's exploits center on his struggles with the jtnar, arch-rivals of the gods. He fought the giant Hrungnir, whose head and heart were stone. When Hrungnir threw his whetstone at Thor, he responed by casting Mjollnir, which split the whetstone in two. The hammer continued through and crushed Hrungnir's skull, killing him, but one piece of the whetstone struck Thor and lodged itself in his head. Thor also battled Jormungand, the World Serpent, a struggle which is depicted in many Viking Age carvings.

Curiously, Thor is the only god mentioned in memorial inscriptions. Sources say he commands the air, thunder and lightning, winds and rains, fair weather, and crops. He more than any other is taken as a personal god, and his name is found as part of many personal names: orsteinn, orfinnr, orgerr, orgunnr. In a temple at Uppsala Thor's statue was placed between Odin and Freyr, signalling his prominence in that region over the other gods.

Baldr and Loki

Baldr and Loki have an intertwined history according to mythological tradition. Baldr is very much the pride of the gods, foremost in countenance, eloquence and grace. Little definite is known about him. Loki, by contrast, is a mischievous character, full of spite and an incessant troublemaker. Though his impetuous actions often get the gods into severe trouble, Loki's wit and cunning are just as often what save the gods from defeat.

One story tells of a dream Baldr has presaging his death. When his dream becomes known to the other gods, this begins the causal paradox which leads to his ultimate demise. In the effort to save Baldr from misfortune, Frigg is enlisted to obtain oaths from all creatures that they should not harm Baldr. This done, the gods soon take to sporting with Baldr, hurling all sorts of weapons at him, confident they will have no effect. When Loki learns of the oaths, he disguises himself and asks Frigg if anything has yet to swear an oath. She replies that the mistletoe seemed too young to be asked. Loki then takes a shaft of mistletoe and tricks the blind god Hod to shoot it at his brother Baldr, who is promptly killed. The hero Hermod eventually rides to the other world, securing permission from Hel for Baldr to return from the dead, on one condition: that every creature weep for him. All creatures do this, save one hard-hearted giantess, presumably Loki in disguise. Eventually the angry gods capture Loki and chain him to rocks, with a snake dripping poison from above. Loki's destined escape will signal final doom for the gods.

Reading and Textual Analysis

The following is from the Vlusp 'Prophecy of the Seeress', first poem of the Poetic Edda as found in the Codex Regius. Though the manuscript dates from the 1270s, most scholars agree that the poem itself was composed some time in the late 900s. The poem is a cosmogony, though at times cryptic and vague. It begins at the behest of Odin (here called Valfr), who asked the prophetess to tell of the beginning as far back as she can remember. She begins with the creation of the earth, then of time. The gods reside in peace until the arrival of three giantesses. Dwarfs are mentioned, then the creation of man, then the fates. A woman of magic comes to the gods and spurs a war between the Aesir and Vanir. When peace comes, a giant offers to rebuild Asgard in exchange for the sun, moon, and Freyja. The poem goes on at length, eventually turning to events of the future, including Ragnarok, the Doom of the Gods, at which time Baldr will return from the other world.

1 - Hlis bi ec allar helgar kindir,
        meiri oc minni, mgo Heimdalar;
        vildo, at ec, Valfr, vel fyrtelia
        forn spioll fira, au er fremst um man.

  • hlis -- noun, neuter; genitive singular of <hlj> silence, hearing -- for audience
  • bi -- verb; 1st singular present of <bija> ask; beg; pray; bid -- bid
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • allar -- adjective; accusative plural feminine of <allr> all, whole; every -- (you) all
  • helgar -- adjective; weak accusative plural feminine of <heilagr> holy, sacred -- hallowed
  • kindir -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <kind> kind, child; baby; offspring, progeny, family, kin -- beings
  • meiri -- comparative adjective; accusative plural feminine of <meiri> more, bigger -- great
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • minni -- comparative adjective; accusative plural feminine of <minni> less -- small
  • mgo -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <mgr> boy, son; (pl.) kindred -- kin
  • Heimdalar -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Heimdallr> Heimdall, World-radiance -- of Heimdall
  • vildo -- verb; 2nd singular present of <vilja> will, wish, be willing; intend + pronoun; nominative singular of <> thou, you -- you... desire
  • at -- conjunction; <at> that -- that
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • Valfr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Valfr> Valfothr, Father of the Slain, Odin -- Valfothr
  • vel -- adverb; <vel> well, readily, easily -- well
  • fyrtelia -- verb; infinitive of <fyrtelia (-tala)> recount, recite -- recount
  • forn -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <forn> old, ancient -- the old
  • spioll -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <spiall> spell, words, tiding; (pl.) tale -- tales
  • fira -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <firar> (pl.) men, people -- of men
  • au -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative plural neuter of <s> that -- which
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- ...
  • fremst -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of superlative of <framr> facing forwards, standing in front; outstanding, excellent; (superl.) farthest back in time, earliest -- first
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • man -- verb; 1st singular present of <muna> remember -- I... remember

2 - Ec man iotna, r um borna,
        er forom mic fdda hfo;
        no man ec heima, no viior,
        miotvi mran fyr mold nean.

  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • man -- verb; 1st singular present of <muna> remember -- recall
  • iotna -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <itunn> giant -- the giants
  • r -- adverb; <r> early, in the early morning; of yore, long ago -- ago
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- long
  • borna -- past participle; accusative plural masculine of <bera> bear, bring, carry; wear; give birth to; overcome; endure; bear (witness) -- born
  • -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative plural masculine of <s> that -- who
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- ...
  • forom -- adverb; <forum> formerly, some time ago -- ages prior
  • mic -- pronoun; accusative singular of <ek> I -- me
  • fdda -- past participle; accusative singular feminine of <fa (dd)> feed; nurse; rear, bring up -- fed
  • hfo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- had
  • no -- numeral; indeclinable of <no> nine -- nine
  • man -- verb; 1st singular present of <muna> remember -- recall
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • heima -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <heimr> region; world -- regions
  • no -- numeral; indeclinable of <no> nine -- nine
  • viior -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <viia> 'she who dwells in the wood', witch, giantess -- giantesses # There are variant readings: viiur, acc. pl. fem. of viia; or vii, acc. pl. masc. of viir (pl.) 'innerwood, ribs, rafters, supports', which might here refer to the roots of the world ash.
  • miotvi -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <mitvir> 'measure-tree', well-proportioned tree; tree which measures extent or limits of the world, tree which metes out fate -- measure-tree
  • mran -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <mrr> famous -- the famous
  • fyr -- preposition; <fyrir> before, in front of; against; because of, for -- ...
  • mold -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <mold> soil, earth (as substance) -- the soil
  • nean -- adverb; <nean> from below or beneath, underneath -- beneath

3 - r var alda, at er Ymir bygi,
        vara sandr n sr n svalar unnir;
        ior fannz va n upphiminn,
        gap var ginnunga, enn gras hvergi.

  • r -- adverb; <r> early, in the early morning; of yore, long ago -- early
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it was
  • alda -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <ld> age; mankind, humanity, world; (pl.) men, human beings -- in time
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- when
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- ...
  • Ymir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ymir> Ymir, a giant -- Ymir
  • bygi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <byggja (g)> dwell, settle; build, inhabit -- settled
  • vara -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen + enclitic adverb; <a> not -- there was no
  • sandr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sandr> sand; beach, shore -- sand
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • sr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sr (svar)> sea, inlet of the sea; lake -- sea
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • svalar -- adjective; nominative plural feminine of <svalr> cool, cold -- cold
  • unnir -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <ur> wave -- waves
  • ior -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <jr> earth, world; ground, soil -- earth
  • fannz -- verb; 3rd singular past middle of <finna> find, meet; discover; notice; invent -- was to be found
  • va -- adverb; <va> never; not at all -- no
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • upphiminn -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <uphiminn> 'upper heaven', the heavens or sky above -- heavens above
  • gap -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <gap> gap, gaping, chasm -- a chasm
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- there was
  • ginnunga -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <ginnung> mighty space, abyss, void -- of void
  • enn -- adverb; <enn> still; also; yet; further; again; moreover; even -- still
  • gras -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <gras> grass, pasture; vegetation -- grass
  • hvergi -- adverb; <hvergi> nowhere; not at all -- nowhere

4 - r Burs synir bioom um ypo,
        eir er migar, mran, scpo;
        sl scein sunnan salar steina,
        var grund grin grnom lauki.

  • r -- adverb; <r> before, first; until -- first
  • Burs -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Burr> Bur, Odin's father -- of Bur
  • synir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <sonr> son -- the sons
  • bioom -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <bi> land -- the earth
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • ypo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <yppa (p)> lift, raise -- raised
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <s> that -- the ones
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • migar -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <migarr> Midgard, Middle-enclosure, the world of men -- midgard
  • mran -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <mrr> famous -- the great
  • scpo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <skepia (skp, skapa)> make, create; pronounce, impose, decree -- shaped
  • sl -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <sl> sun -- the sun
  • scein -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skna> shine, gleam -- shone
  • sunnan -- adverb; <sunnan> from the south -- from the south
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- along
  • salar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <salr> ground; hall; (pl.) a complex dwelling -- the ground's
  • steina -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <steinn> stone, rock -- stones
  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • grund -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <grund> ground, bottom; broad surface; surface of the earth, earth -- the soil
  • grin -- past participle; nominative singular feminine of <gra> grow -- overgrown
  • grnom -- adjective; dative singular masculine of <grnn> green -- with green
  • lauki -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <laukr> leek; (general) plant -- plants

5 - Sl varp sunnan, sinni mna,
        hendi inni hgri um himiniour;
        sl at n vissi, hvar hon sali tti,
        stiornor at n visso, hvar r stai tto,
        mni at n vissi, hvat hann megins tti.

  • sl -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <sl> sun -- the sun
  • varp -- verb; 3rd singular past of <verpa> throw, cast -- cast
  • sunnan -- adverb; <sunnan> from the south -- from the south
  • sinni -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <sinni> companion -- companion
  • mna -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <mni> moon -- the moon's
  • hendi -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hnd> hand, arm and hand; side, part -- hand
  • inni -- definite article; dative singular feminine of <inn> the -- its
  • hgri -- adjective; dative singular feminine of comparative of <hgr> comfortable; suitable, expedient; docile, affable; skilful, agile -- right # hnd in hgri 'the more comfortable, skilful hand', i.e. 'the right hand'
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- round
  • himiniour -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <himiniourr> rim of heaven, horizon or precinct of heaven, sky -- heaven's rim
  • sl -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <sl> sun -- the sun
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- not
  • vissi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- knew
  • hvar -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere -- where
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • sali -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <salr> ground; hall; (pl.) a complex dwelling -- lodging
  • tti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- held
  • stiornor -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <stiarna> star -- the stars
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- not
  • visso -- verb; 3rd plural past of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- knew
  • hvar -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere -- where
  • r -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural feminine of <s> that -- they
  • stai -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <star> place, spot, dwelling; part; way, respect -- dwellings
  • tto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- had
  • mni -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <mni> moon -- the moon
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- ...
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- not
  • vissi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- knew
  • hvat -- pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- what (deal)
  • hann -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hann> this one -- he
  • megins -- noun, neuter; genitive singular of <megin> main, strength; supernatural strength -- of strength
  • tti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- had

6 - gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz:
        ntt oc niiom nfn um gfo,
        morgin hto oc miian dag,
        undorn oc aptan, rom at telia.

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • gengo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- went
  • regin -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <regin> (pl.) powers, rulers, gods -- the powers
  • ll -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • rcstla -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <rcstll> judgement or council seat -- the seats of judgement
  • ginnheilog -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <ginnheilagr> most holy, sacred -- sacred
  • go -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <gu> god -- gods
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- on
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • gttuz -- verb; 3rd plural past middle of <gta (tt)> attend to, tend, guard, watch over; keep watch -- deliberated
  • ntt -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <ntt> night -- to night
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • niiom -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <ni> waning moon -- the moon's phases
  • nfn -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <nafn> name -- names
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • gfo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- they gave
  • morgin -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <morginn> morning -- morning
  • hto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- they named
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • miian -- adjective; accusative singular masculine of <mir> middle, the middle of -- mid
  • dag -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <dagr> day -- day
  • undorn -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <undorn> the time before or after the midday meal -- afternoon
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • aptan -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <aptann> evening -- evening
  • rom -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <r> year; (good) season -- the years
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • telia -- verb; infinitive of <telja (tala)> reckon, count; trace; number, enumerate; recount; declare -- count out

7 - Hittuz sir Iavelli,
        eir er hrg oc hof h timbroo;
        afla lgo, au smoo,
        tangir scpo oc tl goro.

  • hittuz -- verb; 3rd plural past middle of <hitta (tt)> hit upon; find, meet -- met
  • sir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <ss> god -- the Aesir
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- in
  • Iavelli -- proper noun, masculine; dative singular of <Iavllr> Ithavale -- Ithavale
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <s> that -- they
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- where
  • hrg -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <hrgr> outdoor sanctuary, (stone) altar, temple -- sanctuary
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • hof -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <hof> farm, farmstead; temple -- houses
  • h -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <hr> tall, high; loud -- high
  • timbroo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <timbra (a)> timber, build, construct -- constructed
  • afla -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <afl> hearth, fireplace or chimney of a forge -- hearths
  • lgo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <leggja> lay, place, put; put down, lay down; move, bring; thrust, throw; make; give -- set
  • au -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <aur> wealth, riches, treasure; precious objects -- treasures
  • smoo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <sma (a)> forge, make, build -- forged
  • tangir -- noun, feminine; accusative plural of <tng> tong -- tongs
  • scpo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <skepia (skp, skapa)> make, create; pronounce, impose, decree -- shaped
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • tl -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <tl> tool -- tools
  • goro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <gra> make, build; write, compose -- fashioned

8 - Teflo tni, teitir vro,
        var eim vttergis vant r gulli,
        unz rir qvmo ursa meyiar,
        mtcar mioc, r iotunheimom.

  • teflo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <tefla (l)> play at 'tables', play board games -- they played tables
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- on
  • tni -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <tn> courtyard, (enclosed) field; home meadow; (pl.) farmstead; abode -- the stead
  • teitir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <teitr> cheerful, merry; frolicsome -- merry
  • vro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- were
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- had
  • eim -- demonstrative used as pronoun; dative plural neuter of <s> that -- they
  • vttergis -- pronoun; genitive singular neuter of <vtki> no one; not a whit, nothing -- no... of anything
  • vant -- adjective used as substantive; nominative singular neuter of <vanr> wanting, lacking (in), without -- lack
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- ...
  • gulli -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <gull> gold -- golden
  • unz -- conjunction; <unz> until -- until
  • rir -- numeral adjective; nominative plural feminine of <rr> three -- three of
  • qvmo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • ursa -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <urs> giant -- the giants'
  • meyiar -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <mr> maiden -- maids
  • mtcar -- adjective; nominative plural feminine of <mttugr> tremendously or overwhelmingly powerful; fearsome; loathesome -- powerful
  • mioc -- adverb; <mjk> much; very -- quite
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • iotunheimom -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <itunheimr> realm of the giants -- giantland

9 - gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverr scyldi dverga drttin scepia,
        r Brimis bli oc r Blins leggiom.

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • gengo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- went
  • regin -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <regin> (pl.) powers, rulers, gods -- the powers
  • ll -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • rcstla -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <rcstll> judgement or council seat -- the seats of judgement
  • ginnheilog -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <ginnheilagr> most holy, sacred -- sacred
  • go -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <gu> god -- gods
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- on
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • gttuz -- verb; 3rd plural past middle of <gta (tt)> attend to, tend, guard, watch over; keep watch -- deliberated
  • hverr -- pronoun; nominative singular masculine of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- who
  • scyldi -- verb; 3rd singular past subjunctive of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- should
  • dverga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- the dwarfs'
  • drttin -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <drttinn> leader of the host, lord -- lord
  • scepia -- verb; infinitive of <skepia (skp, skapa)> make, create; pronounce, impose, decree -- fashion
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • Brimis -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Brimir> sword; (name of a sword); (name of a giant) -- Brimir's
  • bli -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <bl> blood -- blood
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • Blins -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Blinn> Blain -- Blain's
  • leggiom -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <leggr> hollow bone (of arms and legs); leg -- limbs

10 - ar var Mtsognir mztr um orinn
        dverga allra, enn Durinn annarr;
        eir manlcon mrg um goro,
        dvergar, r ioro, sem Durinn sagi.

  • ar -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- there
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- ...
  • Mtsognir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Mtsognir> Motsognir -- Motsognir
  • mztr -- superlative adjective; nominative singular masculine of <mestr> most, greatest -- the greatest
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • orinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- became
  • dverga -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- the dwarfs
  • allra -- adjective; genitive plural masculine of <allr> all, whole; every -- of all
  • enn -- adverb; <enn> still; also; yet; further; again; moreover; even -- and
  • Durinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Durinn> Durin -- Durin
  • annarr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- second
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <s> that -- they
  • manlcon -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <manlkan> human likeness or form, being in human shape -- human form
  • mrg -- adjective; accusative plural neuter of <margr> many (a) -- many a
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • goro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <gra> make, build; write, compose -- fashioned
  • dvergar -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- those dwarfs
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • ioro -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <jr> earth, world; ground, soil -- the earth
  • sem -- relative particle; <sem> as; as if, that; while; when; where -- as
  • Durinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Durinn> Durin -- Durin
  • sagi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <segja> say, speak; tell, tell of; relate -- said

11 - Ni oc Nii, Norri oc Suri,
        Austri oc Vestri, Alifr, Dvalinn,
        Bvrr, Bvrr, Bmburr, Nri,
        n oc narr, i, Mivitnir.

  • Ni -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ni> Nyi, New-moon -- New-moon
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Nii -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Nii> Nithi, Waned-moon -- Waned-moon
  • Norri -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Norri> North -- North
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Suri -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Suri> South -- South
  • Austri -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Austri> East -- East
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Vestri -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Vestri> West -- West
  • Alifr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Alifr> Althjof, Great-thief -- Great-thief
  • Dvalinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Dvalinn> Dvalin, Delayer -- Delayer
  • Bvrr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Bvrr> Bivor -- Bivor
  • Bvrr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Bvrr> Bavor -- Bavor
  • Bmburr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Bmburr> Bombur -- Bombur
  • Nri -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Nri> Nori -- Nori
  • n -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <n> An -- An
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • narr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <narr> Anar -- Anar
  • i -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <i> Ai, Great-grandfather -- Great-grandfather
  • Mivitnir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Mivitnir> Mjothvitnir, Mead-wolf -- Mead-wolf

12 - Veigr oc Gandlfr, Vindlfr, rinn,
        eccr oc orinn, rr, Vitr oc Litr,
        Mr oc Nrr -- n hefi ec dverga
        -- Reginn oc Rsvir -- rtt um tala.

  • Veigr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Veigr> Veig, Liquor -- Liquor
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Gandlfr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Gandlfr> Gandalf, Staff-elf -- Staff-elf
  • Vindlfr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Vindlfr> Vindalf, Wind-elf -- Wind-elf
  • rinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rinn> Thrain -- Thrain
  • eccr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <eccr> Thekk, Known -- Known
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • orinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <orinn> Thorin -- Thorin
  • rr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <rr> Thror -- Thror
  • Vitr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Vitr> Vit, Color -- Color
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Litr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Litr> Lit, Wise -- Wise
  • Mr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Mr> Mar, Corpse -- Corpse
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Nrr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Nrr> Nyrath, New-counsel -- New-counsel
  • n -- adverb; <n> now -- now
  • hefi -- verb; 1st singular present of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- have
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • dverga -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- the dwarfs
  • Reginn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Reginn> Regin -- Regin
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Rsvir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Rsvir> Rathsvith, Counsel-sharp -- Counsel-sharp
  • rtt -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular neuter of <rttr> right, correct; just, fair; unswerving; direct -- rightly
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • tala -- past participle; accusative plural masculine of <telja (tala)> reckon, count; trace; number, enumerate; recount; declare -- reckoned

13 - Fli, Kli, Fundinn, Nli,
        Hepti, Vli, Hnarr, Svurr,
        Frr, Hornbori, Frgr oc Lni,
        Aurvangr, Iari, Eikinscialdi.

  • Fli -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Fli> Fili -- Fili
  • Kli -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Kli> Kili -- Kili
  • Fundinn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Fundinn> Fundin, Foundling -- Foundling
  • Nli -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Nli> Nali -- Nali
  • Hepti -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hepti> Hepti, Haft -- Haft
  • Vli -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Vli> Vili -- Vili
  • Hnarr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hnarr> Hanar -- Hanar
  • Svurr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Svurr> Sviur -- Sviur
  • Frr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Frr> Frar -- Frar
  • Hornbori -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hornbori> Hornbori -- Hornbori
  • Frgr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Frgr> Fraeg -- Fraeg
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Lni -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Lni> Loni, Sea-pool -- Sea-pool
  • Aurvangr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Aurvangr> Aurvang, Mudfield -- Mudfield
  • Iari -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Iari> Iari -- Iari
  • Eikinscialdi -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Eikinskialdi> Eikinskjald, Oakenshield -- Oakenshield

14 - Ml er, dverga Dvalins lii
        lina kindom til Lofars telia,
        eir er stto fr salar steini
        aurvanga sit til Iorovalla.

  • ml -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <ml> speech, tale; information; period of time -- time
  • er -- verb; 3rd singular present of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- it is
  • dverga -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dvergr> dwarf -- the dwarfs
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • Dvalins -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Dvalinn> Dvalin, Delayer -- Dvalin's
  • lii -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <li> people; band, host; troops; herd; help, aid -- line
  • lina -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <linar> (pl.) people -- the lineages
  • kindom -- noun, feminine; dative plural of <kind> kind, child; baby; offspring, progeny, family, kin -- in families
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- up to
  • Lofars -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Lofarr> Lofar -- Lofar
  • telia -- verb; infinitive of <telja (tala)> reckon, count; trace; number, enumerate; recount; declare -- to tally
  • eir -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <s> that -- those
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- who
  • stto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <skja> seek, go to fetch; visit; proceed -- sought
  • fr -- preposition; <fr> from; concerning -- from
  • salar -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <salr> ground; hall; (pl.) a complex dwelling -- the hall's
  • steini -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <steinn> stone, rock -- stone
  • aurvanga -- noun, masculine plural; genitive of <aurvangar> damp or muddy fields -- of muddy fields # Sometimes taken as the name Aurvangr above, though the ending presumably shows a change from strong to weak declension.
  • sit -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <set> seat; raised floor along the sides of a hall -- the seats
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- at
  • iorovalla -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <irovllr> stony or gravelly field; Stonyvales -- stonyvales

15 - ar var Draupnir oc Dlgrasir,
        Hr, Haugspori, Hlvangr, Gli,
        Scirvir, Virvir, Scfir, i,

  • ar -- adverb; <ar> there, in that place -- there
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • Draupnir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Draupnir> Draupnir -- Draupnir
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Dlgrasir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Dlgrasir> Dolgthrasir -- Dolgthrasir
  • Hr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hr> Har, Greyhair -- Greyhair
  • Haugspori -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Haugspori> Haugspori, Mound-river -- Mound-river
  • Hlvangr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hlvangr> Hlevang, Lee-plain -- Lee-plain
  • Gli -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Gli> Gloi, Glow -- Glow
  • Scirvir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Skirvir> Skirvir -- Skirvir
  • Virvir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Virvir> Virvir -- Virvir
  • Scfir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Skfir> Skafith -- Skafith
  • i -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <i> Ai, Great-grandfather -- Great-grandfather

16 - lfr oc Yngvi, Eikinscialdi,
        Fialarr oc Frosti, Finnr oc Ginnarr;
        at mun uppi, mean ld lifir,
        langniia tal Lofars hafat.

  • lfr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <lfr> Alf, Elf -- Elf
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Yngvi -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Yngvi> Yngvi -- Yngvi
  • Eikinscialdi -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Eikinskialdi> Eikinskjald, Oakenshield -- Oakenshield
  • Fialarr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Fjalarr> Fjalar -- Fjalar
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Frosti -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Frosti> Frosti, Frosty -- Frosty
  • Finnr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Finnr> Finn -- Finn
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Ginnarr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Ginnarr> Ginnar, Betrayer -- Betrayer
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • mun -- verb; 3rd singular present of <munu> will, be about to; will be; must; might -- will
  • uppi -- adverb; <uppi> up -- remembered
  • mean -- conjunction; <mean> while, as long as, whilst -- as long as
  • ld -- noun, feminine; nominative singular of <ld> age; mankind, humanity, world; (pl.) men, human beings -- mankind
  • lifir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <lifa ()> live -- lives
  • langniia -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <langniiar> (pl.) long line of forefathers or long line of descendants -- of... forefathers
  • tal -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <tal> enumeration, list; conversation -- reckoning
  • Lofars -- proper noun, masculine; genitive singular of <Lofarr> Lofar -- Lofar's
  • hafat -- past participle; nominative singular neuter of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- be

17 - Unz rr qvmo r v lii,
        fligir oc stgir, sir, at hsi;
        fundo landi, ltt megandi,
        Asc oc Emblo, rlglausa.

  • unz -- conjunction; <unz> until -- until
  • rr -- numeral adjective; nominative plural masculine of <rr> three -- three
  • qvmo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- came
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- of
  • v -- demonstrative used as adjective; dative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • lii -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <li> people; band, host; troops; herd; help, aid -- retinue
  • fligir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <flugr> strong, powerful -- strong
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • stgir -- adjective; nominative plural masculine of <stugr> loving, benevolent -- benevolent
  • sir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <ss> god -- gods
  • at -- preposition; <at> to, towards, against; at, in; from; according to; regarding; concerning; after -- to
  • hsi -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <hs> house; room of house; (pl.) farm -- the home
  • fundo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <finna> find, meet; discover; notice; invent -- they found
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- on
  • landi -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <land> land -- the land
  • ltt -- adverb; <ltt> little -- little
  • megandi -- present participle; nominative plural masculine of <mega> be able to, can; may -- with... strength
  • asc -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <askr> ash tree; spear; Ash -- ash
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • Emblo -- proper noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Embla> Embla -- Embla
  • rlglausa -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <rlglauss> fateless (i.e. on whom fate has not yet been imposed) -- fateless

18 - nd au n tto, au n hfo,
        l n lti n lito ga;
        nd gaf inn, gaf Hnir,
        l gaf Lurr oc lito ga.

  • nd -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <nd> breath -- breath
  • au -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural neuter of <s> that -- they
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- neither
  • tto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- owned
  • -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <r> mental faculties, voice -- voice
  • au -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural neuter of <s> that -- they
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • hfo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- had
  • l -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <l> blood, ruddiness, vital warmth -- blood
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • lti -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <lti> (pl.) gestures, manner, bearing; voice -- bent
  • n -- adverb; <n> not; nor -- nor
  • lito -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <litr> looks, appearance; color(ing) -- bearing
  • ga -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <gr> good -- good
  • nd -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <nd> breath -- breath
  • gaf -- verb; 3rd singular past of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- gave
  • inn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <inn> Othin, Odin -- Odin
  • -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <r> mental faculties, voice -- voice
  • gaf -- verb; 3rd singular past of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- gave
  • Hnir -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Hnir> Hoenir -- Hoenir
  • l -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <l> blood, ruddiness, vital warmth -- blood
  • gaf -- verb; 3rd singular past of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- gave
  • Lurr -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Lurr> Lothur -- Lothur
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • lito -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <litr> looks, appearance; color(ing) -- bearing
  • ga -- adjective; accusative plural masculine of <gr> good -- good

19 - Asc veit ec standa, heitir Yggdrasill,
        hr bamr, ausinn hvtaauri;
        aan koma dggvar, rs dala falla,
        stendr yfir, grnn, urar brunni.

  • asc -- noun, masculine; accusative singular of <askr> ash tree; spear; Ash -- an ash
  • veit -- verb; 1st singular present of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- know
  • ec -- pronoun; nominative singular of <ek> I -- I
  • standa -- verb; infinitive of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- to stand
  • heitir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- it's name
  • Yggdrasill -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <Yggdrasill> Yggdrasil -- Yggdrasil
  • hr -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <hr> tall, high; loud -- a high
  • bamr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <bamr> tree -- tree
  • ausinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <ausa> ladle; pour; water; (mid.) stream, flow -- watered
  • hvtaauri -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <hvtaaurr> white mud (?) -- with white-mud
  • aan -- adverb; <aan> thence -- thence
  • koma -- verb; 3rd plural present of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- comes
  • dggvar -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <dgg> (sg. and pl.) dew -- the dew
  • rs -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural feminine of <s> that + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • dala -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <dalr> dale, dell, valley -- the dale
  • falla -- verb; 3rd plural present of <falla> fall, fall down; flow; be slain -- falls
  • stendr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- it stands
  • -- adverb; <> ever, always; forever -- ever
  • yfir -- preposition; <yfir> above, over, at; across, upon -- over
  • grnn -- adjective; nominative singular masculine of <grnn> green -- green
  • urar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <urr> weird, (dire) fate; undoing, ruin; (pl.) fates, powers of fate; (name of a norn) -- of fate
  • brunni -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <brunnr> burn, spring, well -- the well

20 - aan koma meyiar, margs vitandi,
        rir, r eim s, er und olli stendr;
        Ur hto eina, ara Verandi
        -- scro sci --, Sculd ina riio;
        r lg lgo, r lf kuro
        alda bornom, rlg seggia.

  • aan -- adverb; <aan> thence -- thence
  • koma -- verb; 3rd plural present of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- come
  • meyiar -- noun, feminine; nominative plural of <mr> maiden -- maids
  • margs -- adjective used as substantive; genitive singular neuter of <margr> many (a) -- much
  • vitandi -- present participle; nominative plural feminine of <vita (ssi)> know, be aware of; understand; know how (to); know of; find out -- knowing
  • rir -- numeral adjective; nominative plural feminine of <rr> three -- three of
  • r -- preposition; <r> out of, from; of; with the material of -- from
  • eim -- demonstrative used as adjective; dative singular masculine of <s> that -- the
  • s -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <sr (svar)> sea, inlet of the sea; lake -- sea
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- which
  • und -- preposition; <undir> under, below; beneath; up to; behind -- under
  • olli -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <ollr> tree (the ash Yggdrasil); post, pillar; beam -- the tree
  • stendr -- verb; 3rd singular present of <standa> stand (firm); get up; take up a position; be in a place; remain valid; be in a specified condition; trend, flow; weigh -- stands
  • ur -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <urr> weird, (dire) fate; undoing, ruin; (pl.) fates, powers of fate; (name of a norn) -- fate
  • hto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- they called
  • eina -- pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <einn> one -- one
  • ara -- pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <annarr> other, another; second, next; one (of two) -- the second
  • verandi -- past participle; accusative singular feminine of <vera> happen, come to pass; befall; chance to be; become -- becoming
  • scro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <skera> shear, cut; cut through; cut open, pierce; make incisions, carve -- they scribbled
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- on
  • sci -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <sk> block of wood; wooden tablet or stave; one of the boards forming a door frame -- on staves
  • Sculd -- proper noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Sculd> (name of a norn); (name of a valkyrie); Shall -- Shall
  • ina -- definite article; accusative singular feminine of <inn> the -- the
  • riio -- adjective; weak accusative singular feminine of <rii> third -- third
  • r -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural feminine of <s> that -- they
  • lg -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <lag> lay, order, disposition; (pl.) preordained fate -- the fates
  • lgo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <leggja> lay, place, put; put down, lay down; move, bring; thrust, throw; make; give -- fixed
  • r -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative plural feminine of <s> that -- they
  • lf -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <lf> life -- the course
  • kuro -- verb; 3rd plural past of <kisa> choose, select; pick out something for someone, determine; acquire something for someone -- cut
  • alda -- noun, feminine; genitive plural of <ld> age; mankind, humanity, world; (pl.) men, human beings -- the ages'
  • bornom -- noun, neuter; dative plural of <barn> child -- children
  • rlg -- noun, neuter; accusative plural of <rlg> (pl.) destiny, fate; war -- the destinies
  • seggia -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <seggr> man; hero, warrior -- of warriors

21 - at man hon flcvg fyrst heimi,
        er Gullveigo geirom studdo
        oc hll Hrs hna brendo;
        rysvar brendo, rysvar borna,
        opt, sialdan, hon enn lifir.

  • at -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • man -- verb; 3rd singular present of <muna> remember -- remembers
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • flcvg -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <flcvg> troop-slaying, battle (between armies), war -- fight
  • fyrst -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <fyrstr> first, foremost, earliest -- first
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • heimi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <heimr> region; world -- the land
  • er -- relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- when
  • Gullveigo -- proper noun, feminine; accusative singular of <Gullveig> Gullveig -- Gullveig
  • geirom -- noun, masculine; dative plural of <geirr> spear; point of anvil -- with spears
  • studdo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <styja (dd)> support; provide with supports; use as a support; stab or pierce from all sides -- they... studded
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • hll -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <hll> hall -- hall
  • hrs -- adjective used as substantive; genitive singular masculine of <hrr> hoary, grey-haired, grey-bearded; (a name of Odin) -- grey-hair's
  • hna -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- her # Note long-vowel form.
  • brendo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <brenna (d)> (trans.) burn, light, set on fire -- burned
  • rysvar -- adverb; <rysvar> thrice -- thrice
  • brendo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <brenna (d)> (trans.) burn, light, set on fire -- they burned (her)
  • rysvar -- adverb; <rysvar> thrice -- thrice
  • borna -- past participle; accusative singular feminine of <bera> bear, bring, carry; wear; give birth to; overcome; endure; bear (witness) -- reborn
  • opt -- adverb; <opt> often, frequently; as often as possible, always -- again
  • sialdan -- adverb; <sjaldan> not seldom, repeatedly -- and again
  • -- adverb; <> yet, and yet; however, nevertheless -- though
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • enn -- adverb; <enn> still; also; yet; further; again; moreover; even -- still
  • lifir -- verb; 3rd singular present of <lifa ()> live -- lives

22 - Heii hana hto, hvars til hsa kom,
        vlo velsp, vitti hon ganda;
        sei hon, hvars hon kunni, sei hon hugleikin,
        var hon angan illrar brar.

  • heii -- adjective used as substantive; accusative singular feminine of <heir> bright, clear; Bright -- bright
  • hana -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- her
  • hto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <heita> to call, name; promise; be called, be named -- they called
  • hvars -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- where
  • til -- preposition; <til> in; of, concerning; on; as, for, to obtain; until, to, up to the time -- to
  • hsa -- noun, neuter; genitive plural of <hs> house; room of house; (pl.) farm -- houses
  • kom -- verb; 3rd singular past of <koma> come, arrive; reach; obtain; occur -- she came
  • vlo -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <vlva> seeress, prophetess, sorceress, soothsayer -- seeress
  • velsp -- adjective; accusative singular feminine of <velspr> prophesying well or rightly -- right-speaking
  • vitti -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vitta (tt)> enchant, conjure -- conjured
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • ganda -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <gandr> magic staff or spirit -- spirits
  • sei -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sa> practice sorcery; bewitch -- prophesied
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • hvars -- adverb; <hvar> where; everywhere + relative particle; <er> who, which; when -- wherever
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • kunni -- verb; 3rd singular past of <kunna> know, know how to; be able -- could
  • sei -- verb; 3rd singular past of <sa> practice sorcery; bewitch -- prophesied
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • hugleikin -- adjective; nominative singular feminine of <hugleikinn> entranced, in a trance; intense(ly) -- crazed # Alternatively, this could be two separate words, hug 'spirit' (object of sei) and leikin (past participle of leika 'play').
  • -- adverb; <> ever, always; forever -- ever
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • hon -- demonstrative used as pronoun; nominative singular feminine of <hann> this one -- she
  • angan -- noun, neuter; nominative singular of <angan> delight, joy -- the delight
  • illrar -- adjective; genitive singular feminine of <illr> bad, evil; ugly, unpleasing; difficult -- of a wicked
  • brar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <brr> bride, young married woman; wife -- wife

23 - gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hvrt scyldo sir afr gialda
        ea scyldo goin ll gildi eiga.

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • gengo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- went
  • regin -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <regin> (pl.) powers, rulers, gods -- the powers
  • ll -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • rcstla -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <rcstll> judgement or council seat -- the seats of judgement
  • ginnheilog -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <ginnheilagr> most holy, sacred -- sacred
  • go -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <gu> god -- gods
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- on
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • gttuz -- verb; 3rd plural past middle of <gta (tt)> attend to, tend, guard, watch over; keep watch -- deliberated
  • hvrt -- conjunction; <hvrt> whether; (introduces direct question); however -- whether
  • scyldo -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- should
  • sir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural of <ss> god -- the Aesir
  • afr -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <afr> payment, tribute; heavy penalty or toll -- tribute
  • gialda -- verb; infinitive of <gjalda> repay, requite; pay compensation; give something as recompense for something; atone or pay for -- pay
  • ea -- conjunction; <ea> or; and; but -- or (whether)
  • scyldo -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skulu> shall, must, ought -- should
  • goin -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <gu> god + definite article; nominative plural neuter of <inn> the -- the gods
  • ll -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • gildi -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <gildi> recompense, return; payment due, tribute, offerings or compensation -- offerings
  • eiga -- verb; infinitive of <eiga> own, have, possess; have in marriage; have the power to; have claim to; have duty to -- receive

24 - Fleygi inn oc flc um scaut,
        at var enn flcvg fyrst heimi;
        brotinn var borveggr borgar sa,
        kntto vanir vgsp vllo sporna.

  • fleygi -- verb; 3rd singular past of <fleygja (g)> let something fly; shoot; hurl -- let loose
  • inn -- proper noun, masculine; nominative singular of <inn> Othin, Odin -- Odin
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- among
  • flc -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <flk> troop, host of warriors; men -- the people
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- ...
  • scaut -- verb; 3rd singular past of <skjta> shoot, throw -- shot
  • at -- demonstrative used as adjective; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • enn -- adverb; <enn> still; also; yet; further; again; moreover; even -- ...
  • flcvg -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <flcvg> troop-slaying, battle (between armies), war -- fight
  • fyrst -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <fyrstr> first, foremost, earliest -- the first
  • -- preposition; <> in, within; among; during; into, onto -- in
  • heimi -- noun, masculine; dative singular of <heimr> region; world -- the land
  • brotinn -- past participle; nominative singular masculine of <brjta> (trans.) break, destroy; distribute; (mid.) exert oneself -- broken
  • var -- verb; 3rd singular past of <vera> be; stay; be done; happen -- was
  • borveggr -- noun, masculine; nominative singular of <borveggr> board wall, wall made of planks -- board wall
  • borgar -- noun, feminine; genitive singular of <borg> castle, fortress; funeral pyre -- of the... barricade
  • sa -- noun, masculine; genitive plural of <ss> god -- Aesir's
  • kntto -- verb; 3rd plural past of <kn (kntta)> can, be in a position to; may -- could
  • vanir -- noun, masculine; nominative plural <vanir> (pl.) Vanir (race of gods) -- Vanir
  • vgsp -- adjective; weak nominative plural masculine of <vgspr> death-proclaiming -- the death-proclaiming
  • vllo -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <vllr> level ground, ground; plain; field -- the vale
  • sporna -- verb; infinitive of <sporna (a)> spurn, tread upon -- tread

25 - gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverir hefi lopt alt lvi blandit
        ea tt iotuns s mey gefna.

  • -- adverb; <> then -- then
  • gengo -- verb; 3rd plural past of <ganga> go, walk; advance; take place; extend; go on, last; turn out -- went
  • regin -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <regin> (pl.) powers, rulers, gods -- the powers
  • ll -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • -- preposition; <> on, upon; at, in; to, towards; by means of; during; in the manner of -- to
  • rcstla -- noun, masculine; accusative plural of <rcstll> judgement or council seat -- the seats of judgement
  • ginnheilog -- adjective; nominative plural neuter of <ginnheilagr> most holy, sacred -- sacred
  • go -- noun, neuter; nominative plural of <gu> god -- gods
  • oc -- conjunction; <ok> and, also; but, though -- and
  • um -- preposition; <um> over, across; through, throughout; round, about; concerning -- on
  • at -- demonstrative used as pronoun; accusative singular neuter of <s> that -- that
  • gttuz -- verb; 3rd plural past middle of <gta (tt)> attend to, tend, guard, watch over; keep watch -- deliberated
  • hverir -- pronoun; nominative plural masculine of <hverr> who, which, what; each, every -- who
  • hefi -- verb; 3rd plural past subjunctive of <hafa ()> have, keep; hold; accept -- had
  • lopt -- noun, neuter; accusative singular of <lopt> air, sky; upper room -- the air
  • alt -- adjective; accusative singular neuter of <allr> all, whole; every -- all
  • lvi -- noun, neuter; dative singular of <l> harm, destruction, misfortune -- with misfortune
  • blandit -- past participle; accusative singular neuter of <blanda (blett, -a)> blend, mix -- mixed
  • ea -- conjunction; <ea> or; and; but -- or
  • tt -- noun, feminine; dative singular of <tt> direction, region; family, line; stock, tribe; ancestry -- to the... race
  • iotuns -- noun, masculine; genitive singular of <jtunn> giant -- giant's
  • s -- adjective used as substantive; genitive singular masculine of <r> wood, raving, frenzied, raging, mad with fear; enraged; (name of Freyja's husband or lover) Od -- Od's
  • mey -- noun, feminine; accusative singular of <mr> maiden -- maid
  • gefna -- past participle; accusative singular feminine of <gefa> give; give in marriage; (impers.) be obtainable -- given

Lesson Text

1 Hlis bi ec allar helgar kindir,
        meiri oc minni, mgo Heimdalar;
        vildo, at ec, Valfr, vel fyrtelia
        forn spioll fira, au er fremst um man.

2 Ec man iotna, r um borna,
        er forom mic fdda hfo;
        no man ec heima, no viior,
        miotvi mran fyr mold nean.

3 r var alda, at er Ymir bygi,
        vara sandr n sr n svalar unnir;
        ior fannz va n upphiminn,
        gap var ginnunga, enn gras hvergi.

4 r Burs synir bioom um ypo,
        eir er migar, mran, scpo;
        sl scein sunnan salar steina,
        var grund grin grnom lauki.

5 Sl varp sunnan, sinni mna,
        hendi inni hgri um himiniour;
        sl at n vissi, hvar hon sali tti,
        stiornor at n visso, hvar r stai tto,
        mni at n vissi, hvat hann megins tti.

6  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz:
        ntt oc niiom nfn um gfo,
        morgin hto oc miian dag,
        undorn oc aptan, rom at telia.

7 Hittuz sir Iavelli,
        eir er hrg oc hof h timbroo;
        afla lgo, au smoo,
        tangir scpo oc tl goro.

8 Teflo tni, teitir vro,
        var eim vttergis vant r gulli,
        unz rir qvmo ursa meyiar,
        mtcar mioc, r iotunheimom.

9  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverr scyldi dverga drttin scepia,
        r Brimis bli oc r Blins leggiom.

10 ar var Mtsognir mztr um orinn
        dverga allra, enn Durinn annarr;
        eir manlcon mrg um goro,
        dvergar, r ioro, sem Durinn sagi.

11 Ni oc Nii, Norri oc Suri,
        Austri oc Vestri, Alifr, Dvalinn,
        Bvrr, Bvrr, Bmburr, Nri,
        n oc narr, i, Mivitnir.

12 Veigr oc Gandlfr, Vindlfr, rinn,
        eccr oc orinn, rr, Vitr oc Litr,
        Mr oc Nrr -- n hefi ec dverga
        -- Reginn oc Rsvir -- rtt um tala.

13 Fli, Kli, Fundinn, Nli,
        Hepti, Vli, Hnarr, Svurr,
        Frr, Hornbori, Frgr oc Lni,
        Aurvangr, Iari, Eikinscialdi.

14 Ml er, dverga Dvalins lii
        lina kindom til Lofars telia,
        eir er stto fr salar steini
        aurvanga sit til Iorovalla.

15 ar var Draupnir oc Dlgrasir,
        Hr, Haugspori, Hlvangr, Gli,
        Scirvir, Virvir, Scfir, i,

16 lfr oc Yngvi, Eikinscialdi,
        Fialarr oc Frosti, Finnr oc Ginnarr;
        at mun uppi, mean ld lifir,
        langniia tal Lofars hafat.

17 Unz rr qvmo r v lii,
        fligir oc stgir, sir, at hsi;
        fundo landi, ltt megandi,
        Asc oc Emblo, rlglausa.

18 nd au n tto, au n hfo,
        l n lti n lito ga;
        nd gaf inn, gaf Hnir,
        l gaf Lurr oc lito ga.

19 Asc veit ec standa, heitir Yggdrasill,
        hr bamr, ausinn hvtaauri;
        aan koma dggvar, rs dala falla,
        stendr yfir, grnn, urar brunni.

20 aan koma meyiar, margs vitandi,
        rir, r eim s, er und olli stendr;
        Ur hto eina, ara Verandi
        -- scro sci --, Sculd ina riio;
        r lg lgo, r lf kuro
        alda bornom, rlg seggia.

21 at man hon flcvg fyrst heimi,
        er Gullveigo geirom studdo
        oc hll Hrs hna brendo;
        rysvar brendo, rysvar borna,
        opt, sialdan, hon enn lifir.

22 Heii hana hto, hvars til hsa kom,
        vlo velsp, vitti hon ganda;
        sei hon, hvars hon kunni, sei hon hugleikin,
        var hon angan illrar brar.

23  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hvrt scyldo sir afr gialda
        ea scyldo goin ll gildi eiga.

24 Fleygi inn oc flc um scaut,
        at var enn flcvg fyrst heimi;
        brotinn var borveggr borgar sa,
        kntto vanir vgsp vllo sporna.

25  gengo regin ll rcstla,
        ginnheilog go, oc um at gttuz,
        hverir hefi lopt alt lvi blandit
        ea tt iotuns s mey gefna.

Translation

1 For audience I bid you all, hallowed beings,
great and small, kin of Heimdall;
you, Valfothr, desire that I well recount
the old tales of men, which I first remember.
2 I recall the giants, born long ago,
who had fed me ages prior;
nine regions I recall, nine giantesses,
the famous measure-tree beneath the soil.
3 It was early in time, when Ymir settled,
there was no sand nor sea nor cold waves;
no earth was to be found nor heavens above,
there was a chasm of void, still grass nowhere.
4 First the sons of Bur raised the earth,
the ones who shaped the great Midgard;
the sun shone from the south along the ground's stones,
then was the soil overgrown with green plants.
5 The sun, the moon's companion, cast from the south
its right hand round heaven's rim;
the sun knew not where she held lodging,
the stars knew not where they had dwellings,
the moon knew not what deal of strength he had.
6 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that:
to night and the moon's phases they gave names,
they named morning and midday,
afternoon and evening, to count out the years.
7 The Aesir met in Ithavale,
where they constructed high houses and sanctuary,
set hearths, forged treasures,
shaped tongs and fashioned tools.
8 They played tables on the stead, were merry,
they had no lack of anything golden,
until came three of the giants' maids,
quite powerful, from Giantland.
9 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
who should fashion the dwarfs' lord,
from Brimir's blood and from Blain's limbs.
10 There Motsognir became the greatest
of all the dwarfs, and Durin second;
they fashioned many a human form
from the earth, those dwarfs, as Durin said.
11 New-moon and Waned-moon, North and South,
East and West, Great-thief, Delayer,
Bivor, Bavor, Bombur, Nori,
An and Anar, Great-grandfather, Mead-wolf.
12 Liquor and Staff-elf, Wind-elf and Thrain,
Known and Thorin, Thror, Color and Wise,
Corpse and New-counsel -- now I have
-- Regin and Counsel-sharp -- rightly reckoned the dwarfs.
13 Fili, Kili, Foundling, Nali,
Haft, Vili, Hanar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, Fraeg and Sea-pool,
Mudfield, Iari, Oakenshield.
14 It is time to tally the dwarfs in Dvalin's
line, the lineages in families up to Lofar,
those who sought from the hall's stone
the seats of muddy fields at Stonyvales.
15 There was Draupnir and Dolgthrasir,
Greyhair, Mound-river, Lee-plain, Glow,
Skirvir, Virvir, Skafith, Great-grandfather,
16 Elf and Yngvi, Oakenshield,
Fjalar and Frosty, Finn and Betrayer;
that reckoning, as long as mankind lives,
of Lofar's forefathers will be remembered.
17 Until three of that retinue came,
strong and benevolent gods, to the home;
they found on the land, with little strength,
fateless Ash and Embla.
18 Neither owned they breath, nor had they voice,
blood nor bent, nor good bearing;
Odin gave breath, Hoenir gave voice,
Lothur gave blood and good bearing.
19 I know an ash to stand, it's name Yggdrasil,
a high tree, watered with white-mud;
thence comes the dew, which falls in the dale,
green it stands ever over the well of fate.
20 Thence come three maids, knowing much,
from the sea which stands under the tree;
Fate they called one, Becoming the second
-- they scribbled on staves --, Shall the third;
they fixed the fates, they cut the course
for the ages' children, the destinies of warriors.
21 She remembers that fight first in the land,
when they studded Gullveig with spears
and in Grey-hair's hall burned her;
thrice they burned her, thrice reborn
again and again, though she still lives.
22 The called her Bright, where she came to houses,
right-speaking seeress, spirits she conjured;
she prophesied, wherever she could, crazed she prophesied,
ever was she the delight of a wicked wife.
23 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
whether the Aesir should pay tribute
or whether all the gods should receive offerings.
24 Odin let loose and shot among the people,
that was the first fight in the land;
broken was the board wall of the Aesir's barricade,
the death-proclaiming Vanir could tread the vale.
25 Then all the powers went to the seats of judgement,
sacred gods, and deliberated on that,
who had mixed all the air with misfortune
or given Od's maid to the giant's race.

Grammar

41. Second Weak Conjugation

The second weak conjugation comprises verbs containing a thematic -a- suffixed to the root: kall-a- 'call', kast-a- 'cast'. The thematic -a- appears in all forms, except when dropped before a following vowel, or when changed to -u- by u-umlaut. The verb kalla, kallai 'call', stem kall-a-, illustrates the forms of the second weak conjugation. The active forms are as follows.

Weak II   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(kall-a-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   kalla   kalla    
2   kallar   kallir   kalla
3   kallar   kalli    
             
1 Pl.   kllum   kallim   kllum
2   kalli   kalli   kalli
3   kalla   kalli    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   kallaa   kallaa    
2   kallair   kallair    
3   kallai   kallai    
             
1 Pl.   klluum   kallaim    
2   klluu   kallai    
3   klluu   kallai    
             
Infinitive   kalla        
             
Pres. Ptc.   kallandi        
             
Past Ptc.   kallar        

The middle forms are as follows.

Weak II   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(kall-a-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   kllumk   kllumk    
2   kallask   kallisk   kallask
3   kallask   kallisk    
             
1 Pl.   kllumsk   kallimsk   kllumsk
2   kallizk   kallizk   kallizk
3   kallask   kallisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   klluumk   klluumk    
2   kallaisk   kallaisk    
3   kallaisk   kallaisk    
             
1 Pl.   klluumsk   kallaimsk    
2   klluuzk   kallaizk    
3   klluusk   kallaisk    
             
Infinitive   kallask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   kallandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   kallazk        
42. Third Weak Conjugation

The third weak conjugation comprises verbs containing a thematic -i- suffixed to the root: lif-i- 'live', or-i- 'dare', n-i- 'reach'. The thematic -i- appears in all present forms, except when dropped before a following vowel. Note that the -i- does not cause fronting of the root vowel. Verbs ending in - drop the thematic -i- in the 3rd person plural (only), as well as the 3rd person plural ending -a. The thematic -i- does not appear in the past forms. The indicative forms of n-i- illustrate the peculiarities of roots ending in -:

n-i-   Present   Past
         
1 Sg.   ni   na
2   nir   nir
3   nir   ni
         
1 Pl.   n(u)m   num
2   ni   nu
3   n   nu
         

The verb vaka, vaki 'wake', stem vak-i-, illustrates the typical forms of the third weak conjugation. The active forms are as follows.

Weak III   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(vak-i-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   vaki   vaka    
2   vakir   vakir   vaki
3   vakir   vaki    
             
1 Pl.   vkum   vakim   vkum
2   vaki   vaki   vaki
3   vaka   vaki    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   vaka   veka    
2   vakir   vekir    
3   vaki   veki    
             
1 Pl.   vkum   vekim    
2   vaku   veki    
3   vaku   veki    
             
Infinitive   vaka        
             
Pres. Ptc.   vakandi        
             
Past Ptc.   vakat (nt.)        

The middle forms are as follows.

Weak III   Indicative   Subjunctive   Imperative
(vak-i-)            
             
Present            
1 Sg.   vkumk   vkumk    
2   vakisk   vakisk   vakisk
3   vakisk   vakisk    
             
1 Pl.   vkumsk   vakimsk   vkumsk
2   vakizk   vakizk   vakizk
3   vakask   vakisk    
             
Past            
1 Sg.   vkumk   vekumk    
2   vakisk   vekisk    
3   vakisk   vekisk    
             
1 Pl.   vkumsk   vekimsk    
2   vakuzk   vekizk    
3   vakusk   vekisk    
             
Infinitive   vakask        
             
Pres. Ptc.   vakandisk        
             
Past Ptc.   vakazk        
43. Preterite-Present Verbs

The term preterite-present refers to a small class of verbs whose 'present' forms take the endings of the strong preterite. That is to say, preterite-present verbs in prehistoric times formed a strong past tense which subsequently took on a present sense. The original present tense formations were lost. By the time of the Old Norse texts, these verbs form a new past tense based on the model of the weak verbs. Thus from a synchronic point of view, the ON preterite-presents form a present tense with the endings and ablaut of the strong past tense of other verbs, and form a past tense using the endings of the weak past.

This innovation in the past tense also extends to the infinitive of some verbs. The verbs munu 'will', skulu 'shall', and *knega 'know, be able' have past infinitives built with the weak dental suffix: mundu, skyldu, knttu. As with their Modern English counterparts shall and can, these verbs are often used as modal auxiliaries. In particular, the past infinitives often occur in this role, presenting difficulties for rendering in Modern English, which does not have equivalent forms for these modal verbs. It is often expedient to re-render the basic meaning in English. For example, munu 'will' may be first thought of as 'be going to', so that mundu would then be equivalent to 'to have been going to'.

Because of their origin as strong pasts, the present forms of the preterite-presents fall into the same ablaut categories as the other strong verbs. The ablaut survives in the vocalic alternation between singular and plural forms in the present of these verbs. However no preterite-present shows the ablaut pattern of the second class, and by the time of the ON texts analogic changes have slightly shifted ablaut patterns so that no verb of the sixth class appears. The remaining exemplars of the various classes are given in the following sections.

43.1. The First Gradation

The first class of preterite-presents contains the verbs vita 'know' and eiga 'have, own'. Their principal parts are as follows:

Infin.   1st Sg. Pres.   1st Pl. Pres.   1st Sg. Past   Past Ptcple
                 
vita 'know'   veit   vitum   vissa   vitar
eiga 'have'     eigum   tta   ttr
                 

Their conjugations are given below.

Class I   Present       Past    
Indicative                
1 Sg.   veit     vissa   tta
2   veizt   tt   vissir   ttir
3   veit     vissi   tti
                 
1 Pl.   vitum   eigum   vissum   ttum
2   vitu   eigu   vissu   ttu
3   vitu   eigu   vissu   ttu
                 
Subjunctive                
1 Sg.   vita   eiga   vissa   tta
2   vitir   eigir   vissir   ttir
3   viti   eigi   vissi   tti
                 
1 Pl.   vitim   eigim   vissim   ttim
2   viti   eigi   vissi   tti
3   viti   eigi   vissi   tti
                 
Imperative                
2 Sg.   vit   eig        
                 
1 Pl.   vitum   eigum        
2   vitu   eigu        
                 
Infinitive   vita   eiga        
                 
Participle   vitandi   eigandi   vitar   ttr
                 
43.2. The Third Gradation

The third class of preterite-presents contains the verbs unna 'love', kunna 'know, be able', and urfa 'need'. Their principal parts are as follows:

Infin.   1st Sg. Pres.   1st Pl. Pres.   1st Sg. Past   Past Ptcple
                 
unna 'love'   ann   unnum   unna   unn(a)t
kunna 'be able'   kann   kunnum   kunna   kunnat
urfa 'need'   arf   urfum   urfta   urft
                 

Note that the verbs unna and kunna show no sign of -- in the new past tense forms, except for the stems unna- and kunna- of the past participles. The conjugations are given below.

Class III   Present           Past        
Indicative                        
1 Sg.   ann   kann   arf   unna   kunna   urfta
2   annt   kannt   arft   unnir   kunnir   urftir
3   ann   kann   arf   unni   kunni   urfti
                         
1 Pl.   unnum   kunnum   urfum   unnum   kunnum   urftum
2   unni   kunnu   urfu   unnu   kunnu   urftu
3   unna   kunnu   urfu   unnu   kunnu   urftu
                         
Subjunctive                        
1 Sg.   unna   kunna   urfa   ynna   kynna   yrfta
2   unnir   kunnir   urfir   ynnir   kynnir   yrftir
3   unni   kunni   urfi   ynni   kynni   yrfti
                         
1 Pl.   unnim   kunnim   urfim   ynnim   kynnim   yrftim
2   unni   kunni   urfi   ynni   kynni   yrfti
3   unni   kunni   urfi   ynni   kynni   yrfti
                         
Imperative                        
2 Sg.   unn   kunn   -            
                         
1 Pl.   unnum   kunnum   -            
2   unnu   kunnu   -            
                         
Infinitive   unna   kunna   urfa            
                         
Participle   unnandi   kunnandi   urfandi   unn(a)t   kunnat   urft
                         

Note the present plural forms unni and unna of the verb unna 'love'.

43.3. The Fourth Gradation

The fourth class of preterite-presents contains the verbs muna 'remember', munu 'will' (earlier mono), and skulu 'shall' (earlier skolo). Their principal parts are as follows:

Infin.   1st Sg. Pres.   1st Pl. Pres.   1st Sg. Past   Past Ptcple
                 
muna 'remember'   man   munum   munda   munar
munu 'will'   mun   munum   munda   -
skulu 'shall'   skal   skulum   skylda   skyldr
                 

The past participle of munu is not attested. The conjugations are given below.

Class IV   Present           Past        
Indicative                        
1 Sg.   man   mun   skal   munda   munda   skylda
2   mant   munt   skalt   mundir   mundir   skyldir
3   man   mun   skal   mundi   mundi   skyldi
                         
1 Pl.   munum   munum   skulum   mundum   mundum   skyldum
2   muni   munu   skulu   mundu   mundu   skyldu
3   muna   munu   skulu   mundu   mundu   skyldu
                         
Subjunctive                        
1 Sg.   muna   myna   skyla   mynda   mynda   skylda
2   munir   mynir   skylir   myndir   myndir   skyldir
3   muni   myni   skyli   myndi   myndi   skyldi
                         
1 Pl.   munim   mynim   skylim   myndim   myndim   skyldim
2   muni   myni   skyli   myndi   myndi   skyldi
3   muni   myni   skyli   myndi   myndi   skyldi
                         
Imperative                        
2 Sg.   mun   -   -            
                         
1 Pl.   munum   -   -            
2   munu   -   -            
                         
Infinitive   muna   munu   skulu   -   mundu   skyldu
                         
Participle   munandi   -   skulandi   munar   -   skyldr
                         

One also finds subjunctive forms of munu 'will' without fronting, hence present subjunctive myna or muna, past subjunctive mynda or munda. Similarly, one finds present subjunctive forms of skulu 'shall' without fronting: skyla or skula. Under the influence of Norwegian, munu 'will' begins to display alternate present singular forms man, mant, man after the fourteenth century. Note the present plural forms muni and muna of muna 'remember'.

43.4. The Fifth Gradation

The fifth class of preterite-presents contains the verbs mega 'be able' and knttu 'know, be able' (earlier kntto; the present infinitive *knega is unattested). Their principal parts are as follows:

Infin.   1st Sg. Pres.   1st Pl. Pres.   1st Sg. Past   Past Ptcple
                 
mega 'be able'   m   megum   mtta   mtt
knttu 'know'   kn   knegum   kntta   -
                 

Their conjugations are given below.

Class V   Present       Past    
Indicative                
1 Sg.   m   kn   mtta   kntta
2   mtt   kntt   mttir   knttir
3   m   kn   mtti   kntti
                 
1 Pl.   megum   knegum   mttum   knttum
2   megu   knegu   mttu   knttu
3   megu   knegu   mttu   knttu
                 
Subjunctive                
1 Sg.   mega   knega   mtta   kntta
2   megir   knegir   mttir   knttir
3   megi   knegi   mtti   kntti
                 
1 Pl.   megim   knegim   mttim   knttim
2   megi   knegi   mtti   kntti
3   megi   knegi   mtti   kntti
                 
Imperative                
2 Sg.   -   -        
                 
1 Pl.   -   -        
2   -   -        
                 
Infinitive   mega   *knega   -   knttu
                 
Participle   megandi   -   mtt   -
                 

The verb knttu 'know (how to)' (cf. Old English cnwan 'know') frequently appears in poetry, but not so in prose.

44. Anomalous Verbs: valda, vilja, vera

A few verbs do not fall easily into the conjugational patterns discussed so far, but are nevertheless so common that they deserve special mention. The verb valda 'cause; dominate' has present stem vald- and past participle stem valdin- and follows the formation of the seventh class verb halda. The past forms are built from the stem oll- in the singular, and from ull- in the plural, and they take the endings of a weak verb. In later ON literature analogical forms began to creep in, such as volla and volda in the past indicative, and vylda in the past subjunctive.

The verb vilja 'want' conjugates in the present according the pattern of short-stem, class I weak verbs (e.g. verja or telja), with the -r of the 2 and 3 sg. assimilating to the preceding -l. The 2 sg. ending -t is occasionally found, as with preterite-present verbs. The past tense follows the weak verbs. The past participle stem is vilja-, and there is a past infinitive vildu.

The most conspicuous anomalous verb is vera 'be', which in Old Norse is a suppletive system of two stems: *(e)s- in the present, *wes- in the past. Earlier forms showing -s- before it changed to -r- are common, particularly in poetry. The earlier forms of vera, ert, er, var, vart are respectively vesa, est, es, vas, vast. The later forms become dominant by roughly 1100. Forms of vera are often found in combination with the preceding word: ns < n es 'now is', az < at es 'that is', vr(r)m < vr erum 'we are', eir(r) < eir ero 'they are', slirr < slir ero 'are blessed'. Note that forms of the present subjunctive of vera can be confused with present forms of sj 'see' (cf. Section 31).

The forms of these three verbs are given below.

Anomalous   Present   Past       Present   Past       Present   Past
Indicative                                
1 Sg.   veld   olla       vil   vilda       em   var
2   veldr   ollir       vill, vilt   vildir       ert   vart
3   veldr   olli       vill   vildi       er   var
                                 
1 Pl.   vldum   ullum       viljum   vildum       erum   vrum
2   valdi   ullu       vili   vildu       eru   vru
3   valda   ullu       vilja   vildu       eru   vru
                                 
Subjunctive                                
1 Sg.   valda   ylla       vilja   vilda       sj, s   vra
2   valdir   yllir       vilir   vildir       sr   vrir
3   valdi   ylli       vili   vildi       s   vri
                                 
1 Pl.   valdim   yllim       vilim   vildim       sm   vrim
2   valdi   ylli       vili   vildi       s, st   vri
3   valdi   ylli       vili   vildi       s   vri
                                 
Imperative                                
2 Sg.                           ver    
                                 
2 Pl.                           veri    
                                 
Infinitive   valda           vilja   vildu       vera    
                                 
Participle   valdandi   valdit       viljandi   viljat           verit
                                 
45. Word Derivation
45.1. Derived Verbs

Weak verbs with thematic vowel -a- are often derived from nominal or adjectival stems. For example, kalla 'to call' < kall 'a call'; sanna 'to prove' < sannr 'true'. A smaller fraction of these thematic-a verbs are derived from other verbal stems. These typically display an n-suffix, which in Old Norse has an inchoative sense. Consider the following examples.

Infinitive   Meaning   Stem   Derivative   Meaning
                 
sofa   'sleep'   svef-, sof-   sofna   'fall asleep'
vaka   'be awake'   vak-i-   vakna   'awaken' (intrans.)
egja   'be silent'   ag-i/j-   agna   'fall silent'
brjta   'break' (trans.)   brot- (past ptc.)   brotna   'fall apart, break'
                 

The n-suffix was not restricted to verbs derived from other verbs. Some are derived from adjectives, such as batna 'get better' from betri (< bat- + -ri).

Numerous i/j-thematic verbs are causatives derived from other strong verbs. Usually intransitive strong verbs are subject to this derivation, and the new verb is built to the stem which appears in the past singular of the strong verb. Consider the following examples.

Infinitive   Meaning   Stem   Derivative   Meaning   Stem
                     
sitja   'sit'   sitj-   setja   'set'   sat-i/j-
liggja   'lie'   lig(g)j-   leggja   'lay'   lag(g)-i/j-
skjalla   'clash'   skell-   skella   'cause to clash'   skall-i/j-
hlaupa   'leap'   hljp-/hlaup-   hleypa   'make leap'   hlaup-i/j-
                     

Semantic changes may over time obscure the causative relation between two verbs linked through this process. For example:

Infinitive   Meaning   Stem   Derivative   Meaning   Stem
                     
hefja   'heave, raise'   hafj-   hfa   'hit'   hf-i/j-
fara   'go'   far-   fra   'move, bring'   fr-i/j-
ra   'ride'   r-   reia   'carry on horseback'   rei-i/j-
                     

Some examples grouped according to conjugation class of the original strong verb are as follows.

Class   Infinitive   Meaning   Derivative   Meaning
                 
I   blkja   'shine'   bleikja   'bleach'
    ra   'ride'   reia   'let ride'
    drfa   'drive'   dreifa   'disperse'
II   fljga   'fly'   fleygja   'let fly'
    brjta   'break' (tr.)   breyta   'alter'
    kjsa   'choose'   keyra   'spur'
III   drekka   'drink'   drekkja   'soak'
    sleppa   'slip'   sleppa   'let slip'
    brenna   'burn' (intr.)   brenna   'burn' (tr.)
IV   sofa   'sleep'   svefja   'calm'
V   sitja   'sit'   setja   'set'
    liggja   'lie'   leggja   'lay'
VI   hlja   'laugh'   hlgja   'gladden'
    fara   'go'   fra   'bring'
VII   hlaupa   'leap'   hleypa   'make run'
    ba   'reside'   byggva   'settle'
    falla   'fall'   fella   'fell'
                 

As with the thematic-a verbs, the verbs in i/j may be derived from adjectival or nominal stems. For example, nafn 'a name' > nefna (nafn-i/j-) 'to name'; kapp 'a contest' > keppa (kapp-i/j-) 'to compete'.

A few consonantal suffixes are used to derive verbs:

  • n: samna 'gather' (< saman 'together'), fagna 'please', brotna 'break';
  • l: hndla 'seize', sngla 'jingle';
  • g: nauga 'compel', vingask 'become friendly', kvngask 'get married';
  • k: urka 'desiccate'.
45.2. Derived Nouns and Adjectives

There is a wide array of derivational processes producing nouns and adjectives from verbs. Nouns and adjectives may correspond to any of the principal parts of a given strong verb. For example, to the strong verb rja 'make red' correspond the noun roi 'redness' and adjectives raur 'red' and rjr.

Suffixation is the most general means of derivation. Typically the addition of suffixes is accompanied by changes to the original stem. The stem vowel is fronted in nouns derived by the suffixation of -, -ing, and -ling. For example, hr (h-) 'high' > h 'height'; Hjararholt (holt-/hult-) 'Herd's Wood' > Hjarhyltingr 'man from Herd's Wood'; Kaldbakr (bak-) 'Cold Back' > Kaldbeklingr 'man from Cold Back'.

Likewise adjectives derived by addition of - or zero show i-umlaut of the stem vowel. For example, auga (auga-) 'eye' > eygr, eygr 'eyed'; hr (hr-) 'hair' > hrr 'haired'; sund (sund-) 'swimming' > syndr 'able to swim'. Fronting also occurs with the suffix -sk, e.g. sland (land-) 'Iceland' > slenzkr 'Icelandic', but this is not always the case (cf. danskr 'Danish'). The suffix -in often occurs with i-umlaut: happ 'luck' > heppinn 'lucky'. As expected, suffixes containing u generally lead to u-umlaut in the stem vowel: vldugr 'mighty' built to the stem vald-.

Several suffixes are commonly used to form adjectives:

  • : generally past participles of weak verbs, e.g. talir 'spoken', heyrr 'heard', kallar 'called'. Note also the adjective daur 'dead'.
  • n: generally past participles of strong verbs, e.g. gefinn 'given', gripinn 'grasped', feginn 'gladdened', eiginn 'own'. Note also forn 'old'.
  • nd: present participles, e.g. gefandi 'giving'. Some original present participles have already been nominalized by the time of ON, e.g. bndi 'farmer' (cf. ba 'have a household').
  • l: e.g. gamall 'old', mikill 'big', gjfall 'munificent'.
  • r: e.g. bitr (gen. bitrs) 'biting', digr (gen. digrs) 'thick'.
  • m: e.g. varm 'warm'.
  • g: e.g. blugr 'bloody', mugr 'moody', mttigr 'mighty'.
  • isk: e.g. bernskr 'childish', danskr 'Danish', himneskr 'heavenly'.
  • tt: e.g. skjldttr 'spotted', bllttr 'round'.
  • legr, ligr: e.g. frligr 'inquisitive', lkamligr 'lovely', rligr 'yearly'.
  • samr: e.g. frisamr 'peaceful', ijusamr 'industrious'.
45.3. Compounds

Old Norse makes frequent use of compound words. For the most part compounds are built from two or three elements. The first element is commonly a noun, adjective, or preposition. The second element is usually noun, adjective, or verb. Compound nouns whose first element is in the genitive case are particularly common in ON. For example, vikustef 'week's notice', hellusteinn 'flat stone', handarkriki 'armpit', brnamikill 'bushy-browed'. As such, these represent phrases frozen and treated as a unit in both form and sense. Other compounds contain an uninflected first element. Such compounds may be nouns, e.g. tanngarr 'row of teeth', herkli 'suit of armor', tibr 'storehouse'; verbs, e.g. fyrirbja 'forbid', varveita 'preserve', fulltingja 'support'; or adjectives, e.g. rauskeggjar 'red-bearded', bleygr 'blue-eyed'.

Compounds whose second element is a substantive often occur as exocentric (Skt. bahuvrhi) adjectives. These adjectives modify another noun by describing some attribute of that noun. Examples in Modern English are blackbelt (i.e. 'one whose belt is black'), Blackbeard (i.e. 'the one whose beard is black'), one-eyed, highbrow, etc. Note these compounds do not describe the noun represented by the second element per se, but rather they describe someone or something related to an element of the compound (hence exocentric). For instance blackbelt does not refer to a belt, but rather to a person who possesses a belt of a certain kind. Examples in ON are bgiftr 'lame', ferftr 'four-footed', fagreygr 'fair-eyed', fmennr 'having few followers'.

The following are frequently found as the second element of compound adjectives.

  • gengr: e.g. arfgengr 'entitled to inherit', gengr 'impassable'.
  • sll: e.g. sigrsll 'victorious'.
  • frr: e.g. ingfrr 'able to go to a public assembly'.