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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, 13 [Vol. 3, 451]

[5-6] á minni iljabrú Finns fjalla ‘on my footsole-bridge of the Finnr <Saami> of the mountains [GIANT = Hrungnir > SHIELD]’: A tvíkent kenning for a shield, which depends on the audience’s knowledge of the myth of Þórr’s single combat with the giant Hrungnir, narrated in sts 14-20 of Haustl. According to Skm (SnE 1998, I, 21; cf. st. 17), it was Þórr’s companion Þjálfi who persuaded Hrungnir to stand on his stone shield, because, he claimed, Þórr was going to attack the giant from underground. For this reason, a shield can be referred to in a kenning as the bridge of this giant’s footsoles; cf. LP: Hrungnir, Bragi Rdr 1/3, 4 and Note. It is possible that Þjóðólfr deliberately introduced this kenning here to foreshadow the subject of the second section of Haustl, which recounts exactly this myth.


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