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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Ólhelg Lv 9I

[7, 8] lind línu hefr jǫrð í Gǫrðum ‘the linden-tree of the headband [WOMAN] has land in Russia’: The words línu jǫrð ‘of the headband ... land’ are an adaptation of Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s explanation of ms. ‘limuord’ (LP (1860): lína). (a) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B and Kock in Skald both follow Sveinbjörn in combining the two words to produce ‘land of the linen headdress’, a kenning for ‘head’. Finnur then combines bekkjar ‘bench’ in l. 5 with lind ‘linden-tree’ in l. 7 to give a woman-kenning, leaving tré ‘tree’ as a half-kenning or uncorrected metaphor matching his interpretation of eik ‘oak’ in l. 1. (b) The present edn follows Kock (NN §610) in letting simplicity of word order dictate that bekkjar tré, as adjacent words, should be construed together as a woman-kenning. The noun lind is treated by Kock as a further uncorrected metaphor, but línu is a suitable determinant: words for ‘headdress’ or ‘veil’ are common in woman-kennings (Meissner 416). (c) Accepting this, Frank (1978, 174-6) varies the emendation of ms. ‘limuord’ to obtain línu vǫrðr and interprets ll. 7-8 lind hefr laufi bundit | línu vǫrðr í Gǫrðum ‘the ruler in Russia has bound the linden of the linen headdress [WOMAN] with [gold] leaf’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  6. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.
  7. Frank, Roberta. 1978. Old Norse Court Poetry: The Dróttkvætt Stanza. Islandica 42. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.


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