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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini (biog. vol. 1), 1. Haustlǫng, 9 [Vol. 3, 444]

[1] hrœri sagna ‘the leader of the troops [= Loki]’: Lit. ‘mover of the troops’. Sagna is probably gen. pl. of sǫgn ‘group, troop, crew’ rather than saga ‘story’ (so Faulkes, SnE 1998, II, 411), though it has been so interpreted by some (e.g. Holtsmark 1949, 12, 28-9, followed by Marold 1983, 161) as ‘the mover, i.e. initiator, of stories’, a kenning possibly alluding to Loki’s habit of lying or to his role in initiating mythic actions. The general context requires the kenning to refer to Loki; assuming this is correct, it is interesting that he, rather than Óðinn, should be described as the leader of the trio of gods; cf. the kenning segjǫndum sagna ‘the commanders of the troops’, referring to the gods as a group, in st. 2/1.


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