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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Anonymous Poems, 2. Nóregs konungatal, 43 [Vol. 2, 789]

[1] berfœttr ‘(“Barelegs”)’: He was also known as berleggr ‘Bareleg’ (Ágr, ÍF 29, 42, 47) or berbeinn ‘Bareleg’ (MberfHkr, ÍF 28, 229). Theodoricus (MHN 59) renders the name as berfort and nudipes ‘Barefoot’. According to Snorri, Magnús earned his nickname because he and his men wore short tunics, which was the current fashion in Scotland and Ireland. See MberfHkr (ÍF 28, 229), Power 1986, 122-3 and n. 5, McDougall and McDougall 1998, 105-6 n. 284. Saxo reports that the nickname was bestowed on Magnús after he fled from the people of Halland and left his shoes behind (Saxo 2005, II, 13, 1, 2, pp. 86-7), and an amusing anecdote in The Chronicle of Man relates that, on one of his expeditions to the west, Magnús sent his shoes to the Irish king Muirchertach and told him to wear them on his shoulders in the presence of the Norw. envoys (Munch 1860, 6).


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