Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 19. Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 356]

[4] Goðmarr ‘Gullmaren’: Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 355) identifies ms. ‘godinnar’ with the fjord Goðmarr á Ránríki (Gullmaren i Bohuslän; for Goðmar(r) = Gullmaren see Wahlberg 2003, 98). The general implication of the helmingr appears to be that Goðmarr was the home of many men who fought at Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen) and did not survive to return home (cf. Sigv Nesv 11/1-4), being instead taken into the possession of Óðinn. It is possible that the Danish-Wendish force on their way north first gathered recruits in the densely settled Oslofjorden area, which at that time was in Danish hands, although some versions of the story of the Jómsvíkingar have them landing first at Jaðarr (Jæren), on the south-west coast of Norway (Jvs 1962, 49). Goðmarr is several hundred miles from Sunnmøre, which leads Guðbrandur Vigfússon (CPB I, 50, cf. II, 570) to posit a battle at Goðmarr itself, and Kock (NN §438) to ridicule the notion of corpses drifting so far southwards and then eastwards from Sunnmøre. This, however, may be the point: it was inconceivable that these corpses could find their way home from the distant location of the battle. The personification of the place Goðmarr as subject of kenndi ‘saw, knew, recognised’, posited by most eds, is unusual (though not quite unparalleled: cf. the laughing, then mourning hills imagined in Sigv Lv 24), and it might be that a pers. n. underlies the ms. reading here.


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