Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 32. Stefnir Þorgilsson, Lausavísur, 1 [Vol. 1, 448]

[3-4]: Cf. OSnorr Lv 1/3-4 curuus est deorsum | nasus in apostato, with the same or similar meaning. The juxtaposition of treachery and a notably curved nose is believed by some scholars to resonate with the archetypal Jewish traitor, Judas. Baetke (1970), believing the stanza to be a C13th creation, saw this as part of Oddr’s Christological scheme in which Sigvaldi is modelled on Judas, while Andersson argues that even if there is influence from Christian iconography it is not incompatible with authorship by Stefnir (2003, 147, cf. 22-5, responding to Baetke). Andersson (2003, 22) also notes the parallel niðrbiúgt er nef in 10/5 (NK 281); in that poem, elusive of date, the hooked nose is an attribute of the thrall-woman Þír, along with muddy feet and sunburnt arms.

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