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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 10. Óðins nǫfn, 5 [Vol. 3, 743]

[1] Herblindi: The name either means ‘one who blinds sby in battle’ or ‘one who makes warriors blind’ (LP: Herblindi). The first element of the cpd is either her- ‘battle’ or herr m. ‘army, people’, and the second a weak form of the adj. blindr ‘blind’. Cf. Yng (ch. 6, ÍF 26, 17), where it is said that Óðinn kunni svá gera, at í orrostu urðu óvinir hans blindir eða daufir eða óttafullir ‘was able to cause his enemies to become blind or deaf or fearful in battle’. See also Tvíblindi and Gunnblindi (sts 4/8, 8/2). In this form the name is attested only in A, while B, the LaufE mss and other sources (i.e. Grí 46/6 and Gylf, SnE 2005, 21) have Helblindi. Falk (1924, 16) suggests that it may have resulted from confusion with the name of Loki’s brother, Helblindi (cf. SnE 2005, 26). The first part of that cpd, Hel, is the name of Loki’s daughter, who presided over the realm of the dead in Old Norse myth.


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