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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

[error: assigned as individual verse to a vol > 4] [Vol. 8, 780]

[8] álf valmeyjar ‘the elf of the carnage-maiden [VALKYRIE > WARRIOR]’: The noun álfr m. ‘elf’, is a reasonably common base-word in warrior-kennings (see LP: alfr) in which the determinant (here valmeyjar, gen.) refers to some aspect of battle, as in this instance. Valmey f. ‘carnage-maiden’, clearly refers to a valkyrie, i.e. one of the handmaids of Óðinn whose function was to choose warriors slain in battle for admission to Valhǫll (see SnE 2005, 30; Eyv Hák 1/1I and Note there). On elves in Old Norse tradition, see Turville-Petre (1964, 230-2), Gunnell (2006), and Hall (2007, 21-53).


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