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Völuspá

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Völuspá in the 13th century Codex Regius.

Völuspá ("Prophecy of the Seeress") is the first poem of the Poetic Edda, a collection of Old Norse poems. It is preserved whole in two manuscripts, the Codex Regius and the Hauksbók, and partially in Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda. J.R.R. Tolkien was influenced greatly by the saga, most obviously in the fact that most of the names of his Dwarves were drawn from it. Christopher Tolkien suggests that "those Dwarf-names in The Hobbit provided the whole starting-point for the Mannish languages in Middle-earth."[1][2]

Almost all of the names of the Dwarves of Middle-earth, as well as Gandalf's, are taken from a section of the Völuspá called the Dvergatal (the "Catalogue of Dwarves").[3][note 1] The Dvergatal is contained in stanzas 10–16:

Original Bellows translation

10. Þar var Móðsognir mæztr of orðinn
dverga allra, en Durinn annarr;
þeir mannlíkun mörg of gerðu
dvergar í jörðu, sem Durinn sagði.

11. Nýi, Niði, Norðri, Suðri,
Austri, Vestri, Alþjófr, Dvalinn,
Nár ok Náinn Nípingr, Dáinn
Bívurr, Bávurr, Bömburr, Nóri,
Ánn ok Ánarr, Óinn, Mjöðvitnir.

12. Veggr ok Gandalfr, Vindalfr, Þorinn,
Þrár ok Þráinn, Þekkr, Litr ok Vitr,
Nýr ok Nýráðr, nú hefi ek dverga,
Reginn ok Ráðsviðr, rétt of talða.

13. Fíli, Kíli, Fundinn, Náli,
Hefti, Víli, Hannar, Svíurr,
Billingr, Brúni, Bíldr ok Buri,
Frár, Hornbori, Frægr ok Lóni,
Aurvangr, Jari, Eikinskjaldi.

14. Mál er dverga í Dvalins liði
ljóna kindum til Lofars telja,
þeir er sóttu frá salar steini
Aurvanga sjöt til Jöruvalla.

15. Þar var Draupnir ok Dolgþrasir,
Hár, Haugspori, Hlévangr, Glóinn,
Dóri, Óri Dúfr, Andvari
Skirfir, Virfir, Skáfiðr, Ái.

16. Alfr ok Yngvi, Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalarr ok Frosti, Finnr ok Ginnarr;
þat mun æ uppi meðan öld lifir,
langniðja tal Lofars hafat.

10. There was Motsognir | the mightiest made
Of all the dwarfs, | and Durin next;
Many a likeness | of men they made,
The dwarfs in the earth, | as Durin said.

11. Nyi and Nithi, | Northri and Suthri,
Austri and Vestri, | Althjof, Dvalin,
Nar and Nain, | Niping, Dain,
Bifur, Bofur, | Bombur, Nori,
An and Onar, | Ai, Mjothvitnir.

12. Vigg and Gandalf | Vindalf, Thrain,
Thekk and Thorin, | Thror, Vit and Lit,
Nyr and Nyrath,-- | now have I told--
Regin and Rathsvith-- | the list aright.

13. Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Hepti, Vili, | Hannar, Sviur,
(Billing, Bruni, | Bildr and Buri,)
Frar, Hornbori, | Fræg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.

14. The race of the dwarfs | in Dvalin's throng
Down to Lofar | the list must I tell;
The rocks they left, | and through wet lands
They sought a home | in the fields of sand.

15. There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.

16. Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti, | Finn and Ginnar;
So for all time | shall the tale be known,
The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.

[edit] Notes

  1. The Dvergatal is now considered a later interpolation, and is often omitted from newer editions of Völuspá.

[edit] References

  1. J.R.R. Tolkien, Christopher Tolkien (ed.), The Peoples of Middle-earth, "The Appendix on Languages", Commentary to §58
  2. Charles B. Noad, "Review: The Peoples of Middle-earth (The History of Middle-earth XII)" at Tolkiensociety.org. See section "Dwarvish and Mannish Related". Retrieved 30 August 2010.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien; Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (eds.), The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter 25, (dated February 1938)

[edit] External links