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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Anonymous Þulur, 28. Á heiti, 2 [Vol. 3, 840]

[3] ógn (f.) ‘terror’: According to Fritzner: ógn, two rivers of this name are located in Jæren, Rogaland, and in Nord-Trøndelag (Rygh 1904, 178; ÍO: Ógn). As a heiti for ‘river’, ógn is not found in skaldic verse, but it occurs in the gold-kenning ljómi ógnar ‘beam of the river’ in HHund I 21/6 (cf. also S-G II, 83) and in Fáfn 42/8. Finnur Jónsson (1933-4, 267) argues that this river-heiti is identical with the noun ógn f. ‘terror, dread’. However, according to Nordenstreng (1934), ógn means ‘water’ and is related to Ægir, the name of the sea-giant in Old Norse myth, and *ahwu, cf. ON á ‘river’, Lat. aqua ‘water’. Alternatively, the correct form of the name could be ǫgn (cf. the C variant ‘augn’) and related to the verb aga ‘flow’ (ÍO: Ögn, Ǫgn 3). The A, B (744ˣ) variant, ofn, could be the Old Norse name for the river Avon in England (OE Afen, Afene, Afne; so Bugge 1875, 224). This heiti is also recorded in st. 3/7 below.


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