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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Vol. I. Poetry for Scandinavian Rulers 1: From Mythological Times to c. 1035 2. General Introduction 5. The diction of skaldic poetry

5. The diction of skaldic poetry

Edith Marold 2012, ‘The diction of skaldic poetry’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. lxix-lxx.

Skaldic style is characterised by the varying of words with poetic synonyms (heiti, literally ‘name(s)’) and different kinds of periphrastic expressions comprising two or more parts (kennings). This distinction is also attested in Snorra Edda, which enumerates kennings and heiti, sometimes quoting stanzas and offering explanations, in two consecutive parts of the section called Skáldskaparmál ‘The Language of Poetry’.


  1. Internal references
  2. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  3. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)

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