Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 2. Knútsdrápa, 7 [Vol. 1, 775]

[6-7] ættniðr Játmundar ‘the descendant of Eadmund [= Eadmund Ironside]’: The person referred to by the kenning as a whole is (somewhat confusingly) Eadmund Ironside, though English sources do not record Eadmund as suffering wounds in a battle near Brentford (if the two helmingar refer to the same event). But there are two candidates for the Eadmund who is his ancestor, and determinant of the kenning: the king of East Anglia martyred by vikings in 869, and the king of England from 939-46. Both are plausible: Knútr’s devotion to the cult of S. Eadmund (see Lawson 1993, 142-3) might suggest it is the saint who is being invoked, while Óttarr’s allusion to Eadgar in st. 3/6 indicates that he was familiar with the royal house of Wessex. Eadmund Ironside was indeed the descendant of the tenth-century king, but not of the ninth-century martyr; however, kinship need not be literal in honorific locutions such as this. The same kenning occurs in Ótt Hfl 13/6, 8 as niðja Játmundar ‘kinsman of Eadmund’, but there refers to Æthelred.


© Skaldic Project Academic Body, unless otherwise noted. Database structure and interface developed by Tarrin Wills. All users of material on this database are reminded that its content may be either subject to copyright restrictions or is the property of the custodians of linked databases that have given permission for members of the skaldic project to use their material for research purposes. Those users who have been given access to as yet unpublished material are further reminded that they may not use, publish or otherwise manipulate such material except with the express permission of the individual editor of the material in question and the General Editor of the volume in which the material is to be published. Applications for permission to use such material should be made in the first instance to the General Editor of the volume in question. All information that appears in the published volumes has been thoroughly reviewed. If you believe some information here is incorrect please contact Tarrin Wills with full details.