Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 4. Þorfinnsdrápa, 13 [Vol. 2, 243-4]

[3] reyni mannkyns ‘the trier of men [RULER]’: The kenning probably denotes Þorfinnr and means specifically ‘he who tries men’s strength (in battle)’, as does Mark Eirdr 28 reynir máttar hersa ‘trier of the strength of hersar’. However, it is conceivable that Arnórr also intended the kenning (and perhaps dróttins míns ‘of my lord’ in ll. 3 and 4) to refer to God, thus implying that God was supporting the skald and Þorfinnr. All other recorded kennings meaning ‘trier of men’ (Mark Eirdr 25/7 reynir hǫlða among them) refer to God.


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