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Gymir

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In Norse mythology, Gymir was a giant whose daughter, Gerðr, married the god Freyr.

According to the Eddic poems "Skírnismál" and "Hyndluljóð", Gymir and his wife Aurboða are Gerð's parents. In the Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson gave this information in Gylfaginning but in a list of kennings in Skáldskaparmál equates Gymir with the god and giant Ægir,[1] citing a verse by Hofgarða-Refr Gestsson where the kenning in question probably simply substitutes one giant-name for another.[2] Gymir is also equated with Ægir in the prose introduction to Lokasenna; however, the Nafnaþulur added later to the Prose Edda list him among the giants.

Gymir has usually been interpreted as a sea-giant, but Magnus Olsen regarded him as an earth giant in connection with his interpretation of Skírnismál in light of the hieros gamos[3] and he has also been seen as a chthonic deity.[4] Suggestions as to the etymology and meaning of his name include 'earthman', 'the wintry one', 'the protector' and 'the bellower'.[5]

According to John Lindow, one source calls Gerð's father Geysir.[6]

References

  1. John Lindow, Norse Mythology: A Guide to the Gods, Heroes, Rituals, and Beliefs, Santa Barbara, California: ABC-Clio, 2001, repr. Oxford University Press, 2002, ISBN 0-19-515382-0, p. 156.
  2. Rudolf Simek, Dictionary of Northern Mythology, tr. Angela Hall, Cambridge: Brewer, 1993, repr. 2000, ISBN 0-85991-513-1, p. 126.
  3. "Fra gammelnorsk myte og kultus", Maal og Minne 1 (1909) 17-36, p. 21 (in Norwegian); Jan de Vries, Altgermanische Religionsgeschichte, volume 1, 2nd ed. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1956, repr. 1970, p. 251, note 1 (in German)
  4. de Vries, volume 2, 2nd ed. 1957, repr. 1970, p. 180, note 1.
  5. Simek, p. 127.
  6. Lindow, p. 138, "Geyser".
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