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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Valgarðr á Velli, Poem about Haraldr harðráði, 7 [Vol. 2, 306-7]

[7-8] ríkula ristin rít ‘the richly engraved shield’: Skj B translates ristin as flængede ‘sundered’ and takes ríkula as an adv. modifying gekk ‘advanced’ (l. 5) (‘went with great strength’), which creates an unprecedented tripartite l. Kock first connected ríkula with ristin ‘engraved’ (NN §806) and later with brast ‘split, resounded’ (l. 7): ristin rít brast ríkula ‘the engraved shields resounded mightily’ (NN §2989E). However, ristin rít is f. nom. sg., not pl., and ríkula means ‘splendidly, richly’ or ‘rigorously’ (see Fritzner: ríkuliga). For the custom of engraving and adorning shields with pictures, see Falk 1914, 138-9, 141-7. See also Bragi RdrIII, Þjóð HaustlIII and Arn Rǫgndr 1/2.


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