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Alvíssmál ("Talk of Alvíss") is a poem collected in the Poetic Edda, probably dating to the 12th century, that relates a conversation between Thor and a dwarf called Alvíss ("All-Wise").

Contents

1 Plot 2 Dating 3 References 4 External links

4.1 English translation 4.2 English translation with Old Norse 4.3 Old Norse editions

Plot[edit] Alvíss comes to Thor to claim Thor's daughter as his bride, saying that she had been promised to him earlier. Thor refuses as he had not been at home at the time, then tells Alvíss that he may take the young woman if he can correctly answer all of Thor's questions. The dwarf's replies act as an exhaustive list of the sentient mythological entities among men, Æsir, Vanir, giants, dwarves and elves. For example, the sky has the following names, according to Alvíss:

Himinn heitir með mönnum, en hlýrnir með goðum, kalla vindófni vanir, uppheim jötnar, alfar fagraræfr, dvergar drjúpansal.

'Heaven' men call it, 'The Height' the gods, The Wanes 'The Weaver of Winds'; Giants 'The Up-World', Elves 'The Fair-Roof', The dwarfs 'The Dripping Hall'.

—Guðni Jónsson's normalized text —Henry Adam Bellows' translation

Alvíss succeeds, but is turned to stone when touched by the light of the rising sun. This makes it highly unusual among tales focused on Thor, as he was normally depicted as solving problems using physical force rather than his wits.[citation needed] Dating[edit] It is not known when Alvíssmál was created; analysis of its contents can point to multiple periods depending on which elements are focused upon. One theory is that the use of Thor and references to mythical beings can be assumed to reflect the culture's religious beliefs,[citation needed] so it would have been created no later than the 10th century before Iceland was Christianized. Another points to the presence of words found only in late skaldic poetry, which would indicate that it came from the 12th-century skaldic poetry revival.[1][2] References[edit]

^ Jan de Vries, Altnordische Literaturgeschichte volume 2 Die Literatur von etwa 1150 bis 1300, die Spätzeit nach 1300, Grundriß der germanischen Philologie 16, 2nd ed. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1967, OCLC 715891742, pp. 110–13 (in German) ^ "Alvíssmál", Rudolf Simek and Hermann Pálsson, Lexikon der altnordischen Literatur, Kröners Taschenausgabe 490 , Stuttgart: Kröner, 1987, ISBN 9783520490018, p. 9 (in German)

External links[edit] English translation[edit]

Alvissmol Translation and commentary by Henry Adams Bellows

English translation with Old Norse[edit]

Alvissmal The poem in the 12th Poetic Edda in the Codex Regius, broken down into 5 stanza seqments so that the Old Norse can match the English translations

Old Norse editions[edit]

Alvíssmál Sophus Bugge's edition of the manuscript text Alvíssmál Guðni Jónsson's edition with normalized spelling

v t e

The Poetic Edda

Mythological poems

Codex Regius

Völuspá Hávamál Vafþrúðnismál Grímnismál Skírnismál Hárbarðsljóð Hymiskviða Lokasenna Þrymskviða Völundarkviða Alvíssmál

Non-Codex Regius

Baldrs draumar Rígsþula Hyndluljóð

Völuspá hin skamma

Svipdagsmál

Grógaldr Fjölsvinnsmál

Gróttasöngr Hrafnagaldr Óðins

Heroic Lays

Codex Regius

Helgi Lays

Helgakviða Hundingsbana I Helgakviða Hjörvarðssonar Helgakviða Hundingsbana II

Niflung Cycle

Frá dauða Sinfjötla Grípisspá Reginsmál Fáfnismál Sigrdrífumál Brot af Sigurðarkviðu Guðrúnarkviða I Sigurðarkviða hin skamma Helreið Brynhildar Dráp Niflunga Guðrúnarkviða II Guðrúnarkviða III Oddrúnargrátr Atlakviða Atlamál

Jörmunrekkr Lays

Guðrúnarhvöt Hamðismál

Non-Codex Regius

Hlöðskviða Hervararkviða

Later poems

Sólarljóð

Manuscripts

Codex Regius AM 748 I 4to AM 738 4to Hauksbók Flateyjarbók Codex Wormianus

See also

Prose Edda Norse mythology Skaldic poetry Old Norse poetry

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