Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 3 [Vol. 1, 177]

[8] ár- ‘of metal’: Also ‘ore, copper, bronze’. This is probably a borrowing of OE ār ‘ore, brass, copper’ (so Noreen 1921, 54; cf. Wimmer 1877, 168; Holthausen 1896, 141). Moberg (1997) argues that árhjalmr designates a helmet with a conical top, assuming an OWN *ár ‘point, top, peak’. In regard to the variation between árhjalmi in this stanza and gollhjalmi ‘golden helmet’ in the next, Olsen (1962a, 6) would explain this as a matter of perspective: like the valkyries, he says, at one instant we see the helmet from above and at the next shining from a distance. The first element was earlier interpreted as ar- (an idea treaceable to Hkr 1697, I, 164), in reference to eagle images (so Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 62; also ÍF 26), or related to árr ‘early’ (so Du Méril 1839, 158); see also Lie (1948, 203).

references

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