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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Gamli kanóki, 1. Harmsól, 42 [Vol. 7, 109-10]

[8] mens grundar ‘of the necklace of the earth [= Miðgarðsormr]’: Finnur Jónsson offers two possible interpretations in LP. In the entry on grund, this phrase is listed among the kennings for ‘sea’, presumably based on the assumption of ON myth that the round earth was encircled by the sea. In this case it is difficult to understand what might be meant by the sea’s hrynvengi ‘ringing land’. In the entry on hrynvengi, the translation slangens klingende land ‘the serpent’s ringing-land’ is suggested. This is close to the kenning from RvHbreiðm HlIII cited above. In this case, men grundar may either be a kenning for a snake or, more likely in terms of the ON myth that placed the World Serpent in the ocean surrounding the earth, a specific allusion to Miðgarðsormr. It has been interpreted in the latter sense here.


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