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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 18 [Vol. 1, 191]

[2-3] hafði of þyrmt véum ‘had revered the sanctuaries’: Hkr and Fsk, unsurprisingly, say nothing of Hákon’s reverence for heathen shrines, but they stress how he was forced not to practise Christianity publicly, and to participate in heathen rites. By contrast, it is said to have been a specific cause of discontent when his successors, the sons of Eiríkr and Gunnhildr, destroyed temples (ÍF 26, 203), and to the extent that this information is reliable, Hákon may be assumed to have shown respect for them. (Cf. Larsen 1943-6, II, 316, who, trusting Snorri’s account, regards these lines as poetic exaggeration.)


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