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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 1. Hǫfuðlausn, 9 [Vol. 1, 752]

[3] Hringmaraheiði ‘Ringmere Heath’: According to John of Worcester, Þorkell’s army fought a battle at Ringmere near Thetford in Norfolk, 5 May 1010, and the English were put to flight (Darlington and McGurk 1995-, II, 464-7; the ASC s. a. 1010 mentions the battle but does not specify the location). As Sigv Víkv 7/3 acknowledges, the local forces were led by the ealdorman (high-ranking nobleman) Ulfcytel, who is also named in Anon Liðs 6/2. For discussion of the p. n. Hringmaraheiðr see Townend (1998, 38-42). Óttarr’s use of the name matches that of Sigv Víkv 7/5 (stóð Hringmaraheiði) and ÞKolb Eirdr 15/7 (rauð Hringmaraheiði), though it is uncertain whose usage comes first. It has been argued that the attempt to incorporate the name into a dróttkvætt line led to a new metrical type, in which the first hending came in position 1 in the line, immediately before the first alliterating syllable (Kuhn 1969a, 416; Gade 2001b, 66-8).


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