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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson (biog. vol. 1), Hákonardrápa, 2 [Vol. 3, 216]

[4] hryngráp vápna Egils ‘ringing hail of Egill’s <legendary archer’s> weapons [BOWS > ARROWS]’: Egill, brother of the legendary smith Vǫlundr, is associated with arrows at one other point in the skaldic corpus (Eyv Lv 14/8I) and is portrayed as a mighty archer in Þiðreks saga af Bern (chs 127-8, Þiðr 1905-11, 123-4). He is also depicted on the lid of the Franks Casket (English, Northumbrian, C8th). The extended metaphor of hail and rain continues in ll. 5-8 (méilskúrum ‘in missile-showers’) and is also prominent in Eskál Vell 10-11I. Davidson (1983, 199-200, 481) draws a parallel between this imagery and Jómsvíkinga saga’s description of two troll-women sending a magical hailstorm against Hákon’s enemies and shooting arrows from their fingertips at the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen; Jvs ch. 45, Jvs 1879, 80-1).


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