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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 1 [Vol. 1, 534]

[8] Sótasker: This appears to be a p. n. accommodated in the stanza by means of mild tmesis, and it is treated as such in the prose sources. It would mean ‘Sóti’s skerry/skerries’, and the naming of the (otherwise unknown) viking leader as Sóti in ÓH-Hkr may be an extrapolation from the p. n. Sigvatr may be using legendary material here to flesh out the details of a battle about which he is reliant on hearsay (cf. ll. 5-6). A viking of this name and a location in the Swedish skerries are mentioned in both the prose and verse of Ǫrvar-Odds saga (see Hjálm Lv 9/4VIII (Ǫrv 19) and ǪrvOdd Ævdr 43/1, 2VIII (Ǫrv 113)), and a viking called Sóti features in Hallfr (ÍF 8, 139-40). Johnsen (1916, 5) suggests that the place was Sotholmen off the coast of Södermanland, Sweden. Holmen ‘the island, islet’ would correspond with sker, and this would fit the description of the site as fyr austan ‘in the east’ (l. 7). A Swedish location would also match the reference to Óláfr’s attacks on nes Svíþjóðar ‘the headlands of Sweden’ in Ótt Hfl 6/4 as well as Snorri’s location of the present battle in Sweden (see Context). ÓHLeg (1982, 40) on the other hand locates Sótasker in Viken, Norway.


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