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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 6 [Vol. 1, 541]

[6] víkingar ‘vikings’: See also st. 3/6 and Note, and st. 10/6. (a) Since the predicate of víkingar is vǫrðu þar díki ‘defended the ditch there’, the word appears to denote the inhabitants or defenders of London, the Englar ‘English’ of l. 2. This is consonant with the tendency in Víkv for the first helmingr to refer to Óláfr’s attack and the second to describe the defence (sts 2, 5, 7, 9, 10), and with the clear antithesis between sótti ‘attacked’ (l. 3) and vǫrðu ‘defended’ (l. 5). (b) On the other hand it is possible, with Hellberg (1980, 37), to understand víkingar to mean Scandinavians of some sort and to assume that the whole helmingr gives further information about Óláfr’s army, defending themselves in Southwark. For Scandinavian troops in London constructing earthworks in this era see Anon Liðs 7/4 and Note; cf. also Hkr (ÍF 27, 15).


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