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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, 1. Ynglingatal, 9 [Vol. 1, 22]

[9] við †tꜹr† ‘near …’: Snorri, in Yng, understood †tꜹr† as the p. n. Taur, the site of Agni’s hanging, and this is followed in Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; ÍF 26; Skald. The assumption was that it referred to the peninsula between Mörköfjord, Mälaren and the Baltic, now called Södertörn. This has been disputed on orthographic grounds (Noreen 1892, 214; Yt 1925; Evans 1981, 92) but defended by Moberg (1951, 26-7) and Dillmann (2000, 45; see below). (b) A very early interpretation understood taur as ‘ring’ (Säve 1854, 23 n. 3; Eggert Ó. Brím 1895, 9; Falk 1914b, 61). Indications favouring this are taurarr ‘ringed’ (Þul Sverða 6/3III), a word for sword (cf. Yt 1925), and perhaps also taurar ‘treasure’ (KormǪ Lv 47/3V (Korm 68)). This would give the sense that Agni was hanged with the neck-ring, which is satisfactory in general terms, but the expression ‘with the neck-ring’ seems not to fit the metaphor for ‘hanging’ used in this helmingr, although the use of collars for leading horses is not uncommon. Dillmann (2000, 45) brings further arguments against the ‘neck-ring’ interpretation. He thinks a p. n. tǫr or tør possible, and Elmevik (1986, 14-17) assumes such forms as these as the basis for the Swed. p. n. Södertörn. The balance of probability therefore returns to the p. n. interpretation.


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