The Poetic Edda: A Study Guide
 The Speech of the Masked One
Codex Regius
MS No. 2365 4to  [R]
Arnamagnæan Codex
AM 748 I 4to [A]
1954 Guðni Jónsson
Normalized Text:

 Nóa tvn ero en xi,
en þar Njörðr hefir,
sér of görva sali;
inn meins vani
hátimbruðum hørg.

 Noa tvn ær h. xi;
en þar Njörðr hefir,
sér of gærva sali;
mana þængill
inn meins vani
hátimbruðum horgi ræði.

16. Nóatún eru in elliftu,
en þar Njörðr hefir,
sér of görva sali;
manna þengill
inn meins vani
hátimbruðum hörgi ræðr.  

English Translations
1797 Amos Simon Cottle
in Icelandic Poetry
The Song of Grimnir
1851 C.P. in
The Yale Magazine, Vol. 16
The Song of Grimner

XVI. Noathuna the eleventh place,
The mansions of Niorder grace:
He, blameless king of men, presides
O'er domes whose summits touch the skies.

In Noatun Niord hath made his home—
The blameless king of men—who, first of all,
Is knelt to 'neath the temple's holy shade.
1866 Benjamin Thorpe
in Edda Sæmundar Hinns Frôða

The Lay of Grimnir
1883 Gudbrand Vigfusson
in Corpus Poeticum Boreale

The Sayings of the Hooded One

16. Noatun is the eleventh,
there Niörd has
himself a dwelling made,
prince of men;
guiltless of sin,
he rules o’er the high-built fane.

Noaton is the eleventh;
there Niord has built him a hall;
the guileless helper of men
rules a high-timbered altar-place.
1908 Olive Bray
in Edda Saemundar
The Sayings of Grimnir
1923 Henry Bellows
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnismol: The Ballad of Grimnir

16. The eleventh is Noatun; Njord in that haven
hath built him a hall by the sea ;
a prince of men, ever faultless found,
he holds the high built fanes.
16. Njord in that haven; the suggested meaning for Noatun is "Ship-haven," see Fragments from Sn.E, and Saga-book, v., 797, 192.

16. The eleventh is Noatun;        there has Njorth
For himself a dwelling set;
The sinless ruler        of men there sits
In his temple timbered high.

1962 Lee M. Hollander
in The Poetic Edda
The Lay of Grimnir
1967 W. H. Auden & P. B. Taylor
in The Elder Edda
The Lay of Grimnir

16. Noatun the eleventh, where Njorth hath him
    reared his bright abode;
    the sinless god    his seat there has
    and rules in high-timbered hall.

16. The eleventh Harbor, where lordly Njörd
Has made himself a mansion:
The high-timbered altar he rules,
Peerless prince of men.

1996 Carolyne Larrington
in The Poetic Edda
Grimnir’s Sayings
2011 Ursula Dronke
in The Poetic Edda, Vol. III: Mythological Poems 
“The Lay of Grimnir”

16. Noatun is the eleventh, where Niord has
a hall made for himself,
the prince of men, lacking in malice,
rules over the high-timbered temple.

16. Navy Leas is the eleventh,
and Njörðr has there
made halls for himself.
As lord of men,
and lacking all fault,
he takes charge of the high-
timbered altar. 



Njörð, God of the Sea

Ursula Dronke, Poetic Edda, Volume II:

"In 11 a satisfying peace has come between gods and giants, when Skaði, the giant Þiazi’s daughter, is married to one of the gods—Niörðr— and settles down in a new house, but built upon the ruins of her father’s old one. Her marriage is a pact of peace between the old and new, and a new development from the quarrelsome old history, when she stormed down on the gods to claim blood-money for her father’s killing (SnE 81), demanding—and getting—a god for a husband and a jest to make her laugh again for her sorrow—Loki supplies this—while in addition Óðinn creates two stars out of her dead father’s eyes. No mention is made in Grím. of her restless marriage with sea-dwelling Njörðr, when he is kept awake by her mountain wolves’ howling and she cannot abide his screaming gulls (SnE 31). On the contrary, Njörðr is given the dignity of a very ancient title, manna þengill ‘prince of men,’ elsewhere only recorded in OE Exodus 172 (probably early 8th century: see AEW s.v. þengill). Any harsh detail in the traditional story of the gods that might break the somnolent acquiescence of the old gods’ world—fully portrayed in Grím—is smoothly omitted." 


In his works Snorri Sturluson mentions Noatun three times.
In Gylfaginning 23:
"The third among the Æsir is he that is called Njördr: he dwells in heaven, in the abode called Nóatún. 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. Njördr is not of the race of the Æsir: 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 Hœnir; he became an atonement between the gods and the Vanir. Njördr 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 Njördr would be near the sea. They made a compact on these terms: they should be nine nights in Thrymheimr, but the second nine at Nóatún. But when Njördr came down from the mountain back to Nóatún, he sang this lay:

Loath were the hills to me, | I was not long in them,
Nights only nine;
To me the wailing of | wolves seemed ill,
After the song of swans.
Then Skadi sang this:
Sleep could I never | on the sea-beds,
For the wailing of waterfowl;
He wakens me, | who comes from the deep--
The sea-mew every morn.

Then Skadi went up onto the mountain, and dwelt in Thrymheimr. And she goes for the more part on snowshoes and with a bow and arrow, and shoots beasts; she is called Snowshoe-Goddess or Lady of the Snowshoes. So it is said:

Thrymheimr 't is called, | where Thjazi dwelt,
He the hideous giant;
But now Skadi abides, | pure bride of the gods,
In her father's ancient freehold.

Gylfaginning 24:
"Njördr in Nóatún 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 Æsir; 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 Fólkvangr ("Folk-plain, Host-plain"), and wheresoever she rides to the strife, she has one-half of the kill, and Odin half, as is here said:
Fólkvangr 't is called, | where Freyja rules
Degrees of seats in the hall;
Half the kill | she keepeth each day,
And half Odin hath.
Her hall Sessrúmnir ("Seat-roomy") 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, Frú, by which noblewomen are called. Songs of love are well-pleasing to her; it is good to call on her for furtherance in love."
Skaldskaparmal 3:
Now Skadi, the daughter of the giant Thjazi, took helm and birnie and all weapons of war and proceeded to Ásgard, to avenge her father. The Æsir, however, offered her reconciliation and atonement: the first article was that she should choose for herself a husband from among the Æsir and choose by the feet only, seeing no more of him. Then she saw the feet of one man, passing fair, and said: "I choose this one: in Baldr little can be loathly." But that was Njördr of Nóatún. She had this article also in her bond of reconciliation: that the Æsir must do a thing she thought they would not be able to accomplish: to make her laugh. Then Loki did this: he tied a cord to the beard of a goat, the other end being about his own genitals, and each gave way in turn, and each of the two screeched loudly; then Loki let himself fall onto Skadi's knee, and she laughed. Thereupon reconciliation was made with her on the part of the Æsir.
Odin went out with a great army against the Vanaland people; but they were well prepared, and defended their land; so that victory was changeable, and they ravaged the lands of each other, and did great damage.  They tired of this at last, and on both sides appointed a meeting for establishing peace, made a truce, and exchanged hostages.  The Vanaland people sent their best men, Njord the Rich, and his son Frey.  The people of Asaland sent a man called Hone, whom they thought well suited to be a chief, as he was a stout and very handsome man; and with him they sent a man of great understanding called Mime.  On the other side, the Vanaland people sent the wisest man in their community, who was called Kvase.  Now, when Hone came to Vanaheim he was immediately made a chief, and Mime came to him with good counsel on all occasions.  But when Hone stood in the Things or other meetings, if Mime was not near him, and any difficult matter was laid before him, he always answered in one way -- "Now let others give their advice"; so that the Vanaland people got a suspicion that the Asaland people had deceived them in the exchange of men. They took Mime, therefore, and beheaded him, and sent his head to the Asaland people.  Odin took the head, smeared it with herbs so that it should not rot, and sang incantations over it.  Thereby he gave it the power that it spoke to him, and discovered to him many secrets.  Odin placed Njord and Frey as priests of the sacrifices, and they became Diar of the Asaland people.  Njord's daughter Freya was priestess of the sacrifices, and first taught the Asaland people the magic art, as it was in use and fashion among the Vanaland people.  While Njord was with the Vanaland people he had taken his own sister in marriage, for that was allowed by their law; and their children were Frey and Freya.  But among the Asaland people it was forbidden to intermarry with such near relations.
 11. OF NJORD.
Njord of Noatun was then the sole sovereign of the Swedes; and he continued the sacrifices, and was called the drot or sovereign by the Swedes, and he received scatt and gifts from them.  In his days were peace and plenty, and such good years, in all respects, that the Swedes believed Njord ruled over the growth of seasons and the prosperity of the people.  In his time all the diar or gods died, and blood-sacrifices were made for them.  Njord died on a bed of sickness, and before he died made himself be marked for Odin with the spear-point.  The Swedes burned him, and all wept over his grave-mound.
Frey took the kingdom after Njord, and was called drot by the Swedes, and they paid taxes to him.  He was, like his father, fortunate in friends and in good seasons.  Frey built a great temple at Upsal, made it his chief seat, and gave it all his taxes, his land, and goods.  Then began the Upsal domains, which have remained ever since.  Then began in his days the Frode- peace; and then there were good seasons, in all the land, which the Swedes ascribed to Frey, so that he was more worshipped than the other gods, as the people became much richer in his days by reason of the peace and good seasons.  His wife was called Gerd, daughter of Gymis, and their son was called Fjolne.  Frey was called by another name, Yngve; and this name Yngve was considered long after in his race as a name of honour, so that his descendants have since been called Ynglinger.  Frey fell into a sickness; and as his illness took the upper hand, his men took the plan of letting few approach him.  In the meantime they raised a great mound, in which they placed a door with three holes in it.  Now when Frey died they bore him secretly into the mound, but told the Swedes he was alive; and they kept watch over him for three years.  They brought all the taxes into the mound, and through the one hole they put in the gold, through the other the silver, and through the third the copper money that was paid. Peace and good seasons continued.
Freya alone remained of the gods, and she became on this account so celebrated that all women of distinction were called by her name, whence they now have the title Frue; so that every woman is called frue, or mistress over her property, and the wife is called the house-frue.  Freya continued the blood-sacrifices. Freya had also many other names.  Her husband was called Oder, and her daughters Hnoss and Gerseme.  They were so very beautiful, that afterwards the most precious jewels were called by their names.
When it became known to the Swedes that Frey was dead, and yet peace and good seasons continued, they believed that it must be so as long as Frey remained in Sweden; and therefore they would not burn his remains, but called him the god of this world, and afterwards offered continually blood-sacrifices to him, principally for peace and good seasons.
Not surprising among a sea-faring people, the sea-god Njord is mentioned many times in Eddic verses, usually in relationship to his children:
43. Ivald’s sons
went in days of old
Skidbladnir to form,
of ships the best,
for the bright Frey,
Njörd´s benign son.
38. Tell me tenthly,
since thou all the origin
of the gods knowest, Vafthrudnir!
whence Niörd came
among the Æsir´s sons?
O’er fanes and offer-steads
he rules by hundreds,
yet was not among the Æsir born.

39. In Vanaheim
wise powers him created,
and to the gods a hostage gave.
At the world’s dissolution
he will return
to the wise Vanir.
37. Hail rather to thee, youth!
and accept an icy cup,
filled with old mead;
although I thought not
that I ever should
love one of Vanir race.

38. All my errand
will I know,
ere I hence ride home.
When wilt thou converse hold
with the powerful
son of Niörd?

39. Barri the grove is named,
which we both know,
the grove of tranquil paths.
Nine nights hence,
there to Niörd’s son
Gerd will grant delight.

Skirnir then rode home. Frey was standing without, and spoke to him, asking tidings:

40. Tell me, Skirnir!
ere thou thy steed unsaddlest,
and a foot hence goest,
what thou hast accomplished
in Jötunheim,
for my pleasure or thine?

41. Barri the grove is named,
which we both know,
the grove of tranquil paths.
Nine nights hence,
there to Niörd’s son
Gerd will grant delight.
32. Be silent, Freyja!
Thou art a sorceress,
and with much evil blended;  
since against thy brother thou
the gentle powers excited.
And then, Freyja! what didst thou do?

33. It is no great wonder,
if silk-clad dames
get themselves husbands, lovers;
but ´tis a wonder that a wretched As,
that has borne children,
should herein enter.
34. Be silent, Niörd!
Thou wast sent eastward hence,
a hostage from the gods.
Hýmir´s daughter had thee
for a utensil,
and flowed into thy mouth.

35. ´Tis to me a solace,
as I a long way hence
was sent, a hostage from the gods,
that I had a son,
whom no one hates,
and accounted is a chief among the Æsir.

36. Cease now, Niörd!
in bounds contain thyself;
I will no longer keep it secret:
it was with thy sister
thou hadst such a son;
hardly worse than thyself.
Thrymskvida 23:
23. Then said Thrym,
the Thursar’s lord:
“Rise up, Jötuns!
and the benches deck,
now they bring me
Freyja to wife,
Niörd’s daughter,
from Noatún.
Solarljod 79:
79. Here are runes
which have engraven
Niörd´s daughters nine,
Radvör the eldest,
and the youngest Kreppvör,
and their seven sisters.
Gylfaginning 10
"Nörfi or Narfi is the name of a giant that dwelt in Jötunheim: he had a daughter called Night; she was swarthy and dark, as befitted her race. She was given to the man named Naglfari; their son was Audr. Afterward she was wedded to him that was called Annarr; Jörd ("Earth") was their daughter. Last of all Dayspring had her, and he was of the race of the Æsir; their son was Day: he was radiant and fair after his father. Then Allfather took Night, and Day her son, and gave to them two horses and two chariots, and sent them up into the heavens, to ride round about the earth every two half-days. Night rides before with the horse named Frosty-Mane, and on each morning he bedews the earth with the foam from his bit. The horse that Day has is called Sheen-Mane, and he illumines all the air and the earth from his mane."
The Eddaic poem Lokasenna informs us that Frey was the product of an incestuous union. He is the child of Njörd and his unnamed sister. In verse 36 of that poem, Loki says:

"Hættu nú, Njörðr,
haf þú á hófi þik,
munk-a ek því leyna lengr:
við systur þinni
gaztu slíkan mög,
ok er-a þó vánu verr."

36. Cease now, Niörd!
in bounds contain thyself;
I will no longer keep it secret:
it was with your sister
you had such a son;
hardly worse than thyself.
Ynglingasaga ch. 4 confirms this relationship, stating that “while Njörd lived with the Vanir he had his sister as wife, because that was the custom among them. Their children were Frey and Freyja. But among the Aesir it was forbidden to marry so close akin.” Thus, when Njörd came to live among the Aesir, logic dictates that he could no longer keep his sister as his wife. Unfortunately, Njörd’s sister remains unnamed in our fragmentary sources. Scholars who have hazarded to guess, most often identify the unnamed sister of Njörd as Nerthus, the earth-mother since the two names are etymologically related, and a wide range of evidence supports the veneration of a male-female divine pair associated with fertility across northern Europe. While we cannot determine the name of Njörd’s sister, we do discover a brother of the earth-goddess whose name may prove relevant to our investigation.
In Gylfaginning 10, Snorri informs us that Jörd’s brother was named Aud, a name that means ‘wealth.’  As a mythic personality, Aud is likewise unknown. However, in a proverb from Vatsdaela Saga 47, a wealthy man is said to be “as rich as Njörd.”
Þá mælti Þróttólfr: “Eigi skiptir þat högum til, at Húnrøðr, góðr drengr, skal vera félauss orðinn ok hlotit þat mest af okkr, en þræll hans, Skúmr, skal orðinn auðigr sem Njörðr.
“Then Throttolf said, “It is not as it should be that Hunrod, a good man, should have become penniless, mostly on our account, while his slave Skum grows as rich as Njörd.”
Snorri informs us that Njörd rules over the motion of the wind and moderates the sea and fire. Men pray to him for good voyages and fishing. He is so rich and wealthy that he can grant wealth of land or possessions to those that pray to him. In addition, the Codex Regius manuscript of Snorri’s Gylfaginning 23, contains a
variant. There the name Auðr reads Uðr, a proper name equivalent to Unnr, “wave.” Thus the name of Jörd’s brother may be interpreted as “wealth” or “wave”, names which apply equally as well to Njörd as a god of rich coastal harbors. Thus, although the name of Njörd’s sister is lost to us, we have strong circumstancial evidence that Njörd was known as Jörd’s brother.

Also See :
Odin's Wife: Mother Earth in Germanic Lore

Frigg and Gersemi
Lorenz Frølich 1845