In Norse mythology, Snotra (Old Norse: [ˈsnotrɑ], "clever")[1] is a goddess associated with wisdom. Snotra is attested in the Prose Edda, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson, and in the Gautreks Saga, where she is the mother of Gautrek son of Gauti, the eponymous ancestor of the Geats, and Goths, a son of Oðinn as King of Sviþjoð. Scholars have proposed theories about the implications of the goddess.

AttestationsEdit

In chapter 35 of the Prose Edda book Gylfaginning, High provides brief descriptions of 16 ásynjur. High lists Snotra thirteenth, and says that Snotra "is wise and courteous". In addition, High adds that, after Snotra's name, a wise man or woman can be called snotr.[2] In the Prose Edda book Skáldskaparmál, Snotra is included among a list of 27 ásynjur names.[3] Apart from these two sources, Snotra is otherwise unattested.[4]

ReceptionEdit

Andy Orchard and Rudolf Simek state that, as Snotra is unattested beyond the Prose Edda, Snotra may be an invention of Snorri's.[5] Orchard theorizes that, otherwise, Snorri may have had access to a lost source, and that the little information Snorri presents may be derived from the meaning of her name.[1]

 
Beowulf's author used word "snotra," for 'wise,' 'prudent'[6]

Simek says that Snorri may have invented Snotra from the Old Norse word snotr ("clever") and "placed [her] next to other insignificant goddesses."[4] However, Simek also writes that the goddesses Snotra, Sága, Hlín, Sjöfn, Vár, and Vör should be considered vaguely defined figures who "should be seen as female protective goddesses" that are all responsible for "specific areas of the private sphere, and yet clear differences were made between them so that they are in many ways similar to matrons."[7]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ a b Orchard (1997:152).
  2. ^ Faulkes (1995:30).
  3. ^ Faulkes (1995:157).
  4. ^ a b Simek (2007:296).
  5. ^ Orchard (1997:152) and Simek (2007:296).
  6. ^ Beowulf; a heroic poem of the 8th century, with tr., note and appendix by T. Arnold, 1876, p. 195.
  7. ^ Simek (2007:274).

ReferencesEdit

  • Faulkes, Anthony (Trans.) (1995). Edda. Everyman. ISBN 0-460-87616-3
  • Orchard, Andy (1997). Dictionary of Norse Myth and Legend. Cassell. ISBN 0-304-34520-2
  • Simek, Rudolf (2007) translated by Angela Hall. Dictionary of Northern Mythology. D.S. Brewer. ISBN 0-85991-513-1