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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, 8 [Vol. 1, 226]

[3-4] fræ Fýrisvalla ‘the seed of Fýrisvellir [GOLD]’: The legendary Hrólfr kraki, king of Denmark, is said to have scattered gold rings and treasure on the plains of Fýrisvellir in order to distract the Swedish king Aðils (cf. Þjóð Yt 16/2) and his army, and delay their pursuit of him (SnE 1998, I, 59; Yng, ÍF 26, 57; Hrólfs saga kraka, Hrólf 1960, 105). For this reason he is spoken of as ‘sowing gold’. See Meissner 228 for further kennings alluding to this legend. Concomitantly, the base-word ‘seed’ may hint at an underlying theme of the fertility of the land and at the traditional connection of fertility with good rule. The theme of the land is maintained by the choice of the (contrasting) kenning base-words in l. 3: valla, from vellir ‘plains’, and fjǫllum, from fjǫll ‘mountains’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV).


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