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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 4. Sexstefja, 15 [Vol. 2, 127-8]

[8] gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami [ARROWS]’: This kenning recalls gjǫld Finns in Hskv Útdr 10/3, and the sg. Finns may be more original, since the allusion seems to be to Gusi(r), legendary king of the Saami, who had three magic arrows, the Gusisnautar, whose names were Flaug ‘Flight’, Fífa and Hremsa ‘Shaft’ (Ket ch. 3 and Forað Lv 6VIII; also Ǫrv ch. 4). Hence hremsur ‘shafts’ in l. 3 alludes to the same motif, and flugr ‘flight’ in l. 7 may play on Flaug. (And hence it is tempting to wonder whether the problematic fannings, fáfnir etc. in l. 7 could conceal a version of Fífa.) The legend was well enough known to generate other skaldic vocabulary, e.g. nautar Gusis ‘Gusir’s gifts’ in Refr Ferðv 5/4III and see LP: Gusi.


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