This interface will soon cease to be publicly available. Use the new interface instead. Click here to switch over now.

Cookies on our website

We use cookies on this website, mainly to provide a secure browsing experience but also to collect statistics on how the website is used. You can find out more about the cookies we set, the information we store and how we use it on the cookies page.

Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

login: password: stay logged in: help

Note to stanza

1. 12. Guthormr sindri, Hákonardrápa, 5 [Vol. 1, 163]

[1, 2-3] setti … at því fljóði Ónars ‘placed … over that woman of Ónarr <giant> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð “land”)]’: For discussion of forms of the name Ónarr see Finnur Jónsson (1884, 84-5) and Note to Þul Dverga 3/6III. The noun fljóð means ‘woman given to a man’ (see Note to Þul Kvenna I 1/3III), but the few other earth-kennings involving Ónarr refer to earth as his daughter (Meissner 87; ÍF 26). It may be that the variation of base-word from ‘daughter’ to ‘wife’ reflects conflation with earth-kennings based on the idea of ‘Óðinn’s spouse/concubine’. The metaphor of the marriage of ruler to land occurs in other poetry of the late C10th and early C11th (e.g. Eyv Hál 12, Hfr Hákdr 3-6III, Edáð Banddr 3; cf. SnE 1998, I, 158). The language may be purely figurative and conventional (cf. Frank 2007, 177, 190), but it has been regarded as pointing to an ancient rite of hieros gamos ‘sacred marriage’ (Ström 1983; Steinsland 1986b; Steinsland 1991; Steinsland 1992), perhaps even to a revival of such a cult under Hákon góði or more especially under the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade; e.g. Åkerblom 1899a, 271-2). The exact region placed under Tryggvi’s protection is not specified in the stanza. The prose narrative may be correct in mentioning Vík (Viken, the area around Oslofjorden), but Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) suggests that the reference might be to the Danish lands subjugated by Hákon in his campaign. The mention of oak forests would fit best with the Danish islands or the Skåne coast (cf. Price 2000b, 32, map).


© 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.