Lesson Plans for Secondary School Educators
The Catalog of Dwarfs
Excerpt from "Voluspo,"
the first poem in the Elder Edda
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.
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.
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.
Fili, Kili, | Fundin, Nali,
Heptifili, | Hannar, Sviur,
Frar, Hornbori, | Fręg and Loni,
Aurvang, Jari, | Eikinskjaldi.
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.
There were Draupnir | and Dolgthrasir,
Hor, Haugspori, | Hlevang, Gloin,
Dori, Ori, | Duf, Andvari,
Skirfir, Virfir, | Skafith, Ai.
Alf and Yngvi, | Eikinskjaldi,
Fjalar and Frosti, | Fith and Ginnar;
So for all time | shall the tale be known,
The list of all | the forbears of Lofar.
(adapted from the Henry Adams Bellows translation of the Old Norse Poetic Edda, also known as the Elder Edda; original text in the public domain)
Translator's note: Most of the names presumably had some definite significance, such as Northri, Suthri, Austri, and Vestri ("North," "South," "East," and "West"), Althjof ("Mighty Thief'), Mjothvitnir ("Mead-Wolf"), Gandalf ("Magic Elf"), Vindalf ("Wind Elf'), Rathwith ("Swift in Counsel"), and Eikinskjaldi ("Oak Shield"), but in many cases the interpretations are sheer guesswork.
Unit Two Content
Comments for Teachers