Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 42 [Vol. 7, 278]

[6] brjótr hnossa ‘breaker of hammered ornaments’: Cf. hodda brjótr ‘breaker of treasure’ Geisl 37/7. Hnoss ‘hammered ornament’ (CVC probably from OE hnossian ‘to hammer’) recalls the theme of hammering introduced with viðum hnossa ‘trees of hammered ornament [MEN]’ in the stef (13/6, 17/6, 21/6, 25/6 and 29/6) and made central at the Crucifixion in st. 16. The two ‘generous man’-kennings, though built upon ideal princely conduct, are ironic in their insufficiency when set against the boundless munificence of Christ’s mercy. Through his embrace he offers, not hammered gold, but himself hammered to the Cross.


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