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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 14 [Vol. 1, 553]

[4, 6, 8] Leiru; Varrandi; Peitu ‘the Loire; Varrandi; Poitou’: Leira is the Loire, and there is indeed a Guerrande (now mostly spelt Guérande) at the mouth of this river, a name which accords well with Varrandi. However, it is in southern Brittany, not in Poitou, nor is it ‘far from the sea’ (l. 6). Sigvatr is either mildly confused in his geography here, or has conflated two or more separate incidents. Ótt Hfl 12/1-2 states that Óláfr ‘laid waste to Poitou’ and fought in Touraine (the area around Tours, also on the Loire). Óttarr’s stanza may indeed record raids in these areas that were not mentioned by Sigvatr, or that have not survived in Víkv (note that the numbering of battles has ceased by this point: see Introduction above). For Continental records of Óláfr’s stay in France, see Note to Ótt Hfl 12 [All].


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