Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 33. Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa, 6 [Vol. 1, 464]

[1, 3] oddhríðar lœgis logfágandi ‘the custodian of the flame of the sea of the point-storm [(lit. ‘flame-custodian of the sea of the point-storm’) BATTLE > BLOOD > SWORD > WARRIOR]’: The verb fága means ‘keep clean, diligently attend to’ (Fritzner: fága). This would allude to the warlord’s care for his weapons. The identity of lœgis has been disputed. (a) The forms in the mss could point to either normalised lœgis (with oe ligature) or lægis (with ae ligature), and are interpreted here as lœgis ‘of the sea’ (a possibility also considered in ÍF 26). This combines with oddhríðar ‘of the point-storm [BATTLE]’ to form a kenning for ‘blood’. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B) emended lœgis to lǫgðis ‘of the sword’, combining this with hríð ‘storm’ (l. 2) to form a battle-kenning. He used the other elements to form a kenning oddhríðar logfágandi ‘custodian of the flame of the point-storm [BATTLE > SWORD > WARRIOR]’. The emendation does not seem justified, however, particularly when there is the option of treating hríð in l. 2 as a heiti for ‘battle’ without determinant (cf. Note to HSt Rst 17/7). (c) Kock (NN §482A, followed by ÍF 26) opts for the reading lægis ‘of the harbour’, which results in logfágandi lægis ‘custodian of the flame of the harbour [(lit. ‘flame-custodian of the harbour’) GOLD > MAN]’. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) notes that use of the agentive fágandi ‘custodian’ with a gold-kenning appears not to antedate the C12th, and indeed lægi would also point to late composition, since it is not attested in skaldic poetry earlier than Krákumál (Anon Krm 5/7VIII; LP: lægi). Additionally, Kock links oddhríðar ‘of the point-storm [BATTLE]’ with brandi ‘sword’, positing a sense ‘sword of battle’, but that would be unidiomatic.

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