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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Angantýr Lv 1VIII (Heiðr 29)

[4] feiknstafa ‘of curses’: Lit. ‘of portentous or terrible staves’, probably runes (cf. Anon Sól 60/6VII, Grí 12/6 and LT 57), taken here with the sense ‘something which causes evil’, and according with Hervǫr’s curse of the previous stanza. Cf. OE fācenstæf (pl. fācenstafas, Beowulf l. 1017) ‘works of evil, acts of malice, treachery’ (DOE). Some eds construe this line with the previous two, rather than with l. 4, as here, but in this stanza and elsewhere in the poem Angantýr seems to be more concerned with the broader fact that Hervǫr is there at all rather than the specific content of her speech.


  1. Bibliography
  2. LT = La Farge, Beatrice and John Tucker. 1992. Glossary to the Poetic Edda, based on Hans Kuhn’s Kurzes Wörterbuch. Skandinavistische Arbeiten 15. Heidelberg: Winter.
  3. DOE = Cameron, Angus, Ashley Crandell Amos and Antonette diPaolo Healey, eds. 2007-. Dictionary of Old English. Toronto: University of Toronto. <>
  4. Internal references
  5. Carolyne Larrington and Peter Robinson (eds) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð 60’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 338-9.
  6. Not published: do not cite ()
  7. Not published: do not cite ()


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