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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 260]

[7] spjalli jǫfra ‘confidant of princes [JARL = Hákon]’: Snorri (SnE 1998, I, 81) cites the kenning spjalli konungs ‘confidant of a king’ among kennings for jarlar ok hersar ok hirðmenn ‘jarls and hersar and retainers’, quoting Hfr Hákdr 5/2III, in which this kenning is used of Hákon jarl Sigurðarson. The jarl referred to here may well be the same Hákon, who according to the prose accounts (the fullest of which is in Fsk, ÍF 29, 104-9) engineered the killing of Haraldr gráfeldr by persuading Gull-Haraldr, nephew of Haraldr Gormsson of Denmark, to kill Haraldr gráfeldr in order to gain rule over Norway. Hákon then killed Gull-Haraldr on the pretext of his supposed disloyalty to Haraldr Gormsson, and took control over Norway himself. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) notes that the kenning could also apply to the direct agent, Gull-Haraldr.


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