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behalf. But some occasions for these names arose in his wanderings; and that matter is recorded in tales. Nor canst thou ever be called a wise man if thou shalt not be able to tell of those great events."
XXI. Then said Gangleri: "What are the names of the other iEsir, or what is their office, or what deeds of renown have they done?" Harry answered: "Thor is the foremost of them, he that is called Thor of the ^sir, or Oku-Thor; he is strongest of all the gods and men. He has his realm in the place called Thrudvangar,'and his hall is called Bilskirnir;2 in that hall are five hundred rooms and forty. That is the greatest house that men know of; it is thus said in Grimnismdl:
Five hundred floors and more than forty,
So reckon I Bilskirnir with bending ways;
Of those houses that I know of hall-roofed,
Thor has two he-goats, that are called Tooth-Gnasher and Tooth-Gritter,and a chariot wherein he drives, and the hegoats draw the chariot; therefore is he called Oku-Thor.3 He has also three things of great price: one is the hammer Mjollnir, which the Rime-Giants and the Hill-Giants know, when it is raised on high; and that is no wonder,— it has bruised many a skull among their fathers or their kinsmen. He has a second costly thing, best of all: the girdle of might; and when he clasps it about him, then the godlike strength within him is increased by half. Yet a third thing he has, in which there is much virtue: his iron gloves; he cannot do without them when he uses his hammer-shaft. But no one is so wise that he can tell all his mighty works; yet I can tell thee so much tidings of him that the hours would be spent before all that I know were told."
1 Plains of strength. 2 From the flashing of light (Cl.-Vig.).
3 According to Cleasby-Vigfiisson, a popular etymology." Oku is not to be derived from aka (to drive), but is rather of Finnish origin, Ukko being the Thunder-god of the Chudic tribes." Jonsson, however, allows Snorri's etymology to stand.
XXII. Then said Gangleri: "I would ask tidings of more iEsir." Harry replied: "The second son of Odin is Baldr, and good things are to be said of him. He is best, and all praise him; he is so fair of feature, and so bright, that light shines from him. A certain herb is so white that it is likened to Baldr's brow; of all grasses it is whitest, and by it thou mayest judge his fairness, both in hair and in body. He is the wisest of the iEsir, and the fairest-spoken and most gracious; and that quality attends him, that none may gainsay his judgments. He dwells in the place called Breidablik,1 which is in heaven; in that place may nothing unclean be, even as is said here:
Breidablik 't is called, where Baldr has
A hall made for himself:
Fewest baneful runes.
XXIII. "The third among the iEsir is he that is called Njordr: he dwells in heaven, in the abode called Noatun. He rules the course of the wind, and stills sea and fire; on him shall men call for voyages and for hunting. He is so prosperous and abounding in wealth, that he may give them great plenty of lands or of gear; and him shall men invoke for such things. Njordr is not of the race of the iEsir: he was reared in the land of the Vanir, but the Vanir delivered him as hostage to the gods, and took for hostage in exchange him that men call Hcenir; he became an atonement between the gods and the Vanir. Njordr has to wife the woman called Skadi, daughter of Thjazi the giant. Skadi would fain dwell in the abode which her father had had, which is on certain mountains, in the place called Thrymheimr; but Njordr would be near the sea. They made a compact on these terms: they should be nine nights in Thrymheimr, but the second nine at Noatun. But when Njordr came down from the mountain back to Noatun, he sang this lay:
Loath were the hills to me, I was not long in them,
Nights only nine;
After the song of swans.
Then Skadi sang this:
Sleep could I never on the sea-beds,
He wakens me, who comes from the deep —
Then Skadi went up onto the mountain, and dwelt in
Thrymheimr 't is called, where Thjazi dwelt,
He the hideous giant;
In her father's ancient freehold.
XXIV. "Njordr in Noatiin begot afterward two children: the son was called Freyr, and the daughter Freyja; they were fair of face and mighty. Freyr is the most renowned of the JEsir; he rules over the rain and the shining of the sun, and therewithal the fruit of the earth; and it is good to call on him for fruitful seasons and peace. He governs also the prosperity of men. But Freyja is the most renowned of the goddesses; she has in heaven the dwelling called Folkvangr,1 and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half, as is here said:
Folkvangr 't is called, where Freyja rules
Degrees of seats in the hall;
And half Odin hath.
Her hall Sessrumnir2 is great and fair. When she goes forth, she drives her cats and sits in a chariot; she is most conformable to man's prayers, and from her name comes the name of honor, Fru, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love."
XXV. Then said Gangleri: "Great in power do these iEsir seem to me; nor is it a marvel, that much authority attends you who are said to possess understanding of the gods, and know which one men should call on for what boon soever. Or are the gods yet more?" Harr said: " Yet remains that one of the iEsir who is called Tyr: he is most daring, and best in stoutness of heart, and he has much authority over victory in battle; it is good for men of valor to invoke him. It is a proverb, that he is Tyr-valiant, who surpasses other men and does not waver. He is wise, so that it is also said, that he that is wisest is Tyr-prudent. This is one token of his daring: when the iEsir enticed Fenris-Wolf to take upon him the fetterGleipnir, the wolf did not believe them, that they would loose him, until they laid Tyr's hand into his mouth as a pledge. But when the iEsir would not loose him, then he bit off the hand at the place now called 'the wolf's joints' and Tyr is one-handed, and is not called a reconciler of men.
1 Folk-plain, Host-plain. 2 Scat-roomy.
XXVI. "One is called Bragi: he is renowned for wisdom, and most of all for fluency of speech and skill with words. He knows most of skaldship, and after him skaldship is called bragr^ and from his name that one is called bragrman or -woman, who possesses eloquence surpassing others, of women or of men. His wife is Idunn: she guards in her chest of ash those apples which the gods must taste whensoever they grow old; and then they all become young, and so it shall be even unto the Weird of the Gods." Then said Gangleri: " A very great thing, methinks, the gods entrust to the watchfulness and good faith of Idunn." Then said Harry, laughing loudly: "'T was near being desperate once; I may be able to tell thee of it, but now thou shalt first hear more of the names of the iEsir.
1 Bragr, as a noun, means "poetry;" as an adjective, it seems to mean " foremost " (Cl.-Vig.). Thus the phrase bragr karla seems to be "foremost of men," with apparent reference to poetic preeminence.