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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal, 59 [Vol. 3, 1168]

[3-4]: Following SnE 1848-87, Möbius (SnE 1879-81, I, 81) and Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) render the kennings contained in these lines as hnigþili stranda randa ‘the bending boards of the shores of shields [SHIELD-RIMS > SHIELDS]’ and í byr brands ‘in the fair breeze of the sword [BATTLE]’, but Konráð remarks that the first kenning is an odd shield-kenning which may refer to a shield-wall rather than to shields. Skj B, Skald and SnE 2007 construe the following kennings: hnigþili randa ‘bending boards of shield-rims [SHIELDS]’ and í byr stranda brands ‘in the fair breeze of the shores of the sword [SHIELDS > BATTLE]’. According to Faulkes (SnE 2007, 123), hnigþili randa ‘bending boards of shield-rims’ could either be a kenning for ‘shields’ or refer to the boards of which shields are made. However, hnigþili ‘bending boards’ in itself can serve as the base-word in a shield-kenning, and the present reading avoids both an ambiguous kenning and a syntactic break between the last two words of l. 4.


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