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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hhárf Snædr 1I

[1, 2] hneggi ótta ‘in the rock of fear [HEART]’: The base-word hneggi is dat. sg. from hnegg n., which in this context appears to have the sense ‘rock, small skerry’ which is attested for its evident cognate ModIcel. (h)naggur ‘small skerry, cliff’ (AEW: hnegg; Árni Böðvarsson 2002: naggur). Parallel would be the kennings for ‘heart’ with base-word steinn ‘stone’ or mýll ‘ball’ cited by Snorri (SnE 1998, I, 108; cf. Meissner 138). The determinant ótta (gen. sg.) ‘fear’ accords with Snorri’s statement (loc. cit.) that words denoting emotions such as harmr ‘grief’ and tregi ‘sorrow’ can be used in kennings for ‘heart’. Snorri does not cite ótti, but the word may be selected here to express the poet’s humility towards his addressee (cf. Ormr Woman 1/1-2III). In skaldic usage the word (h)negg is otherwise attested solely as a heiti for ‘heart’, as seen in Þul Hugar ok hjarta 1/1III, in the kennings hnegg foldar ‘heart of the earth [STONE]’ (HSt Frag 7/2III) and hneggverǫld ‘heart-world [BREAST]’ (Anon (SnE) 101/3III), and in SnE (1998, I, 108). It seems necessary to posit the sense ‘rock, small skerry’ for this stanza, however, in order to avoid the complex emendations that are required if the sense ‘heart’ is selected instead (see Note to ll. 1-4).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  4. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. Árni Böðvarsson. 2002. Íslensk orðabók. 3rd edn, ed. Mörður Árnason. Reykjavík: Edda.
  6. Internal references
  7. 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].
  8. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Hugar heiti ok hjarta 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 964.
  9. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Stanzas from Snorra Edda 10’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 521.
  10. Edith Marold (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallar-Steinn, Fragments 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 209.
  11. Russell Poole (ed.) 2017, ‘Ormr Steinþórsson, Poem about a woman 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 325.

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