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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, 16 [Vol. 3, 456]

[1] of barmi Baldrs ‘the brother of Baldr [= Þórr]’: Baldr was Þórr’s half-brother; Óðinn was the father of both gods, but Þórr’s mother was Jǫrð (see Note to st. 15/7), while Baldr’s was Óðinn’s wife Frigg (SnE 2005, 45-8; Vsp 53). Barmi is a poetic word for brother, and means lit. ‘child nourished at the same breast’, untrue in this case. Cf. Bragi Rdr 3/8 of barmar Erps ‘the brothers of Erpr’, also used of half-brothers. Of is here the pleonastic particle (LP: 1. of C), sometimes found in early poetry with nouns of kinship or close friendship; in Haustl there are instances of this usage in of rúni Þórs ‘confidant of Þórr [= Loki]’ st. 8/5, of rúna trolls trjónu ‘friend of the troll of the muzzle [= Mjǫllnir > = Þórr]’ st. 17/7 and here; cf. Kuhn (1929a) and Fidjestøl (1989b).


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