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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 3. Lausavísur, 1 [Vol. 1, 215]

[1, 3] ins hvassa Blóðøxar ‘of the keen [Eiríkr] Blóðøx (“Blood-axe”)’: King Eiríkr Haraldsson: see Introduction. The origin of Eiríkr’s nickname, first attested in this stanza, is unclear: it might refer affirmatively to his victories or hostilely to his alleged fratricidal tendencies (Andersen 1977, 92-3). A play upon the nickname evidently determines the choice of adj. hvassa ‘keen’, which however has natural (m.) gender, agreeing with implicit Eiríks, rather than grammatical (f.) gender, agreeing with -øxar ‘axe’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; ÍF 26). Kock argues for agreement with the sword-kenning fetilstinga (NN §2215), which would also be possible, as, grammatically, would agreement with -þings ‘assembly’.


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