Heiðrún

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This article is about the goat in Norse mythology. For the Norwegian oil field, see Heidrun oil field.
The goat Heiðrún consumes the foliage of the tree Læraðr, while her udders produce mead, collected in a pot below (1895) by Lorenz Frølich.
Heiðrún consumes the leaves of Læraðr atop Valhalla in an illustration from an 18th-century Icelandic manuscript.

Heiðrún is a goat in Norse mythology, which consumes the foliage of the tree Læraðr and produces mead for the einherjar. She is described in the Poetic Edda and Prose Edda.

Prose Edda[edit]

Geit sú er Heiðrún heitir stendr uppi á Valhöll ok bítr barr af limum trés þess er mjök er nafnfrægt, er Léraðr heitir, en ór spenum hennar rennr mjöðr sá er hon fyllir skapker hvern dag. Þat er svá mikit at allir einherjar verða fulldruknir af. - [1]

A goat called Heiðrún stands up [on its hind-legs] in Valhalla biting the buds off the branches of that very famous tree which is called Lærað. From her teats runs the mead with which every day she fills a cauldron, which is so big that all the Einherjar can drink their fill from it. - Young's translation

Poetic Edda[edit]

In the Poetic Edda Heiðrún is mentioned twice. She is described in the Grímnismál in a way similar to Snorri's description.

Heiðrún heitir geit,
er stendr höllo á
ok bítr af læraðs limom;
skapker fylla
hón skal ins skíra miaðar,
knáat sú veig vanaz.
Heithrún, the goat
on the hall that stands,
eateth off Læráth's limbs;
the crocks she fills
with clearest mead,
will that drink not e'er be drained. - LMH's translation

Since Snorri quotes other strophes of Grímnismál it seems reasonable to assume that he knew this strophe too and used it as his source for his description of Heiðrún.

In the Hyndluljóð the giantess Hyndla (lit. bitch/she-dog) used the term "Heiðrún" to insult the goddess Freyja. Thorpe and some other translators translated the name straight to "she-goat".

Rannt at Óði
ey þreyjandi,
skutusk þér fleiri
und fyrirskyrtu;
hleypr þú, Óðs vina
úti á náttum,
sem með höfrum
Heiðrún fari.
To Oth didst thou run,
who loved thee ever,
And many under
thy apron have crawled;
My noble one, out
in the night thou leapest,
As Heithrun goes
the goats among. - Bellows' translation

Heiðrún's name is sometimes anglicized Heidrun, Heidhrun, Heithrun, Heidrún, Heithrún or Heidhrún.

"Heidrun" is also the name of a Vikingarock band from Värmland, Sweden who originally formed in 2009 as a cover band. Since then their popularity has grown, and they released their first full-length studio album with original music, "Framåt Gå," in August 2012.[2]

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bellows, Henry Adams. Translation of the Poetic Edda.[3]
  • Eysteinn Björnsson (ed.) (2005). Snorra-Edda: Formáli & Gylfaginning : Textar fjögurra meginhandrita.[4]
  • Hollander, Lee M. (1962). The Poetic Edda. Austin: University of Texas. ISBN 0-292-76499-5.
  • Jón Helgason (Ed.). (1955). Eddadigte (3 vols.). Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  • Young, Jean I. (1964). Snorri Sturluson : the Prose Edda. Berkeley: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-01231-3.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Gylfaginning 38-43". Hi.is. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  2. ^ "Heidrun - Vikingarock från Värmland". Heidrun.nu. Retrieved 2013-10-19. 
  3. ^ [1][dead link]
  4. ^ "Gylfaginning". Hi.is. Retrieved 2013-10-19.