Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 2. Nesjavísur, 3 [Vol. 1, 561]

[2] Karlhǫfða ‘Karlhǫfði (“Man-head”)’: Viking Age ships were most often named after animals (Jesch 2001a, 136-7). Snorri (ÍF 27, 59) explains Karlhǫfði as being named after a king’s head figurehead carved by King Óláfr himself, which set a fashion for rulers’ ships. Jesch (2001a, 137) inclines instead to the suggestion of Paasche (1914, 13) that the ship-name was influenced by Óláfr’s royal model Charlemagne (ON Karlamagnús).


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