ŽÓRSDRĮPA 9:1-4

Codex RegiusCodex TrajectinusCodex WormianusEmended & Modernized
9 : 1-4 VariantsVariants 
Vnnz meš yta siNi  Unz meš żta sinni,
aflravn var žat ska/nar  aflraun var žat, skaunar
a seil [himinsiola
R is badly damaged here, and in the next half-stanza.
The bracketed words are supplied from W.
į seil himinsjóla
sialflopta kom žialfi]sjįlflopta kom Žjįlfi.

There are obviously two sentences here, but the commentators disagree on details. The meaning can hardly be doubted:

unz Žjįlfi, meš sinni żta, kom sjįlflopta į seil skaunar himinsjóla; žat var aflraun, i.e. "until Žjįlfi, accompanying the friend of men [Žórr], flew into the air of his own accord onto the sky-lord's shield-strap - that was a great feat of strength!"

In 7:3-4, Žjįlfi was seen hanging on to Thor's njaršgjörš, which may be interpreted as the Thunder-god's "belt of strength". It may be doubted that such a belt ever existed, except in Snorri's imagination. The term njaršgjörš may be equivalent to seil skaunar, "shield strap". Alternatively, it could be assumed that in stanza 7, Žjįlfi hangs on to Thor's belt, and that, in stanza 9, when the ocean grows deeper, he must jump higher and catch hold of Thor's shield-strap.

sinni żta ] Sinnir żta "the friend/helper of men" is Thor. Cp. the similar vinr verliša.

kom sjįlflopta ] "came into the air of his own accord", i.e. jumped / flew. Žjįlfi jumps onto Thor's shield-strap to avoid being drowned in the ocean. This was no mean feat of strength (aflraun). Žjįlfi is obviously much smaller than Thor, and is now submerged up to his neck. Under such circumstances, jumping from the water into the air is practically impossible, at least for ordinary men.

himinsjóla ] Himinsjóli "lord of heaven" is obviously Thor, the god of thunder and lightning.

It would be futile to quote the various interpretations of other commentators. They all see the "feat of strength" (aflraun) as that of Thor carrying Žjįlfi (Finnur Jónsson read aflraun himinsjóla). As far as I can see, this is absurd. The strongest of gods, who could easily cross the Arctic Ocean as if it were a mere river, would not have been encumbered by Žjįlfi hanging onto his belt or shield-strap. The strength-feat committed here is that of the almost-drowned Žjįlfi jumping out of the ocean into the air.

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