Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 28 [Vol. 7, 29-30]

[3] vald foldar ‘strength of the land’: Bb, H, and Hr read valdr foldar ‘ruler of the land’, a typical kenning which may be the better reading. But the Flat version is appropriate in this context. Abstract nouns were rarely used as base-words in kennings (cf. líf in Geisl 3/6), but Einarr may be imitating Scripture, where God is repeatedly called fortitudo ‘strength’ and robur ‘power’. Cf. especially the circumlocutions in Ps. XXVII.8 (fortitudo plebis suae ‘the strength of his people’) and Joel III.16 (fortitudo filiorum Israhel ‘the strength of the children of Israel’).


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