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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 6 [Vol. 1, 255]

[3] bjarmskar kindir ‘Permian people’: The people of Bjarmaland, which was probably located around the southern shores of the White Sea, and the basin of the Northern Dvina River, and is now part of the Arkhangelsk Oblast of Russia. It is mentioned in a number of sources, the earliest being the C9th Old English Orosius, which contains the account of the Norwegian Ohthere (Óttarr) to King Ælfred of his visit to the Beormas (Ross 1981, 15-59; see also Note to ǪrvOdd Lv 9/3VIII (Ǫrv 41)). Hkr (ÍF 27, 229) gives an account of a trading visit in the reign of Óláfr helgi, on which grávǫru ok bjór ok safala ‘grey furs, beaver and sable’ were obtained. Koht (1930-3, 24) suggests that Haraldr’s expedition to Bjarmaland had the object of securing trade, and that his nickname gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’ may allude to this, though see Hkr (ÍF 26, 211-12) for the traditional explanation.


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