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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 6 [Vol. 1, 85]

[6, 8] lét ... bundinn við stik ‘had ... moored to a stake’: According to the prose of Hkr these stakes were erected for defence (cf. Falk 1912, 26). Modéer (1944a, 203-9) and von See (1977b, 77-8) doubt this and think they were simple moorings. However, archaeologists have found evidence of offshore barricades in Denmark as early as the year 700 (Nørgård Jørgensen 2002b, 125). Tying up unopposed in an adversary’s harbour may have had symbolic importance as a demonstration of power, much like the designation of the ruler as the wearer of the œgishjalmr (see Note to st. 5/6). The impression would be even greater if the stakes were indeed defensive.


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