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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal, 17 [Vol. 3, 1121]

[2] skarð jarðar slétt hafi ‘the clefts of the earth [FJORDS], smoothed by the ocean’: Skarð ‘cleft’ is taken as a collective here, based on the prose commentary (SnE 2007, 12): þat eru Firðir, svá heitir fylki í Nóregi ‘those are Fjordane, that is the name of a district in Norway’. The district is Fjordane (ON Firðir ‘the Fjords’), now a part of modern Sogn og Fjordane, located on the western coast of Norway. Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) retained the sg. meaning. He suggested that skarð jarðar ‘the cleft of the earth’ referred to Viken, the areas around Oslofjorden, and that the stanza celebrated Hákon’s victory over the Ribbungar at the battles of Værne and Oslo in 1221 (see Sturl Hákkv 6II and Sturl Hákfl 1-2II).


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