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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, 2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar, 4 [Vol. 1, 407]

[6] fyr sunnan lǫg ‘south over the sea’: The battle of Svǫlðr is described as taking place ‘in the south’ or ‘over the sea’ several times in the poem (cf. sts 4/6, 6/4, 19/4, 22/5); austr ‘east’ is mentioned once (st. 22/2), though the syntax is ambiguous. As Baetke (1951, 65-99, especially 89) notes, ‘east’ would suggest the Baltic region to a Norse audience, while ‘south’ and ‘over the sea’, although vague in themselves, support other evidence which suggests Svǫlðr was off the southern coast of the Baltic rather than in the Øresund, as other scholars have suggested. However, the question of the location of the battle remains unresolved; see Andersen (1977, 104-5) for a concise summary of the debate.


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