In Norse mythology
Norse mythology
Norse mythology, a subset of Germanic mythology, is the overall term for the myths, legends and beliefs about supernatural beings of Norse pagans. It flourished prior to the Christianization of Scandinavia, during the Early Middle Ages, and passed into Nordic folklore, with some aspects surviving...

, Gambanteinn (Old Norse gambanteinn 'magic wand') appears in two poems in the Poetic Edda
Poetic Edda
The Poetic Edda is a collection of Old Norse poems primarily preserved in the Icelandic mediaeval manuscript Codex Regius. Along with Snorri Sturluson's Prose Edda, the Poetic Edda is the most important extant source on Norse mythology and Germanic heroic legends, and from the early 19th century...



In Hárbarðsljóð
Hárbarðsljóð is one of the poems of the Poetic Edda, found in the Codex Regius and AM 748 I 4to manuscripts. It is a flyting poem with figures from Norse mythology-Synopsis:...

stanza 20, Hárbarðr says:

A giant hard       was Hlébard, methinks:

His gambanteinn he gave me as gift,

And I stole his wits away.


In Skírnismál
Skírnismál is one of the poems of the Poetic Edda. It is preserved in the 13th century manuscripts Codex Regius and AM 748 I 4to but may have been originally composed in heathen times...

(Stanzas 25 to 26) Skírnir
In Norse mythology, Skírnir is the god Freyr's messenger and vassal. In the Poetic Edda poem Skírnismál, Skírnir is sent as a messenger to Jötunheimr to conduct Freyr's wooing of the fair Gerðr on condition of being given Freyr's sword as a reward. Skírnir also threatens Gerðr with his gambantein,...

 speaks to Gerd
In Norse mythology, Gerðr is a jötunn, goddess, and the wife of the god Freyr. Gerðr is attested in the Poetic Edda, compiled in the 13th century from earlier traditional sources; the Prose Edda and Heimskringla, written in the 13th century by Snorri Sturluson; and in the poetry of skalds...

Seest thou, maiden,       this keen, bright sword

That I hold here in my hand?

Before its blade the       old giant bends,—

Thy father is doomed to die.

I strike thee, maid,       with my gambanteinn,

To tame thee to work my will;

There shalt thou go       where never again

The sons of men shall see thee.

Skírnir then condemns Gerd to live lonely and hideous, unloved, either married to a three-headed giant or forever unwed. It might seem that this gambanteinn also refers to the sword with which Skirnir has previously threatened Gerd. But immediately after concluding his curse, Skírnir says (stanza 32):

I go to the wood,       and to the wet forest,

To win a gambanteinn;

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  

I won a gambanteinn.

The poem then continues with further threats by Skírnir condemning Gerd to a life of misery.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.