Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur, 1 [Vol. 2, 576-7]

[1] tafl ‘board games’: Tafl may refer to the traditional game of hnefatafl, though it is equally possibly an early reference to chess (KLNM 2, 224). The Lewis chess pieces, probably made in Norway and destined for somewhere in Britain or Ireland when they were lost, are roughly contemporary with Rǫgnvaldr and their number and quality show both the popularity and the high status of this game at that time and in the same region (Robinson 2004). See also Note to st. 23/8.

references

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