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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 35. Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa, 15 [Vol. 1, 510]

[7] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: Hringmaraheiðr is given as the location of a battle between Þorkell inn hávi ‘the Tall’ Strút-Haraldsson (with Óláfr Haraldsson) and Ealdorman Ulfcytel in Sigv Víkv 7/5 and Ótt Hfl 9/3 (see Notes to these), and John of Worcester records a battle ad locum qui Ringmere dicitur ‘at a place which is called Ringmere’ under the year 1010 (Darlington and McGurk 1995-, II, 464). Ringmere Pit, near Thetford in Norfolk, has been suggested as the battle’s location (Stevenson 1896, 302). The 1010 battle cannot be that referred to by Þórðr: either he borrowed details from Sigvatr’s and Óttarr’s poems, in which case his account of this part of Knútr’s English campaign is fabricated (A. Campbell 1971, 15), or Hringmaraheiðr was of sufficient strategic importance to be the site of more than one battle (Poole 1987, 280). See further Townend (1998, 38-42). For the suggestion that the challenge of incorporating the name Hringmaraheiðr in the dróttkvætt line resulted in a new metrical form, see Note to Ótt Hfl 9/3.


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