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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ESk Geisl 47VII

[4] naðri véttrima* ‘snake of sword-rings’: The meaning of véttrim is obscure, but it is usually understood to refer to a metal ring either between the sword guard and the sword handle or between the pommel and the sword handle; see LP: véttrim; LT, 290. For possible etymologies see Sijmons and Gering 1903-31, III.2, 210. Naðr véttrima is clearly a kenning for ‘sword’, and Einarr’s choice of naðr ‘snake’ as the base-word may evoke the image of the sword creeping away from the man like a serpent. The emendation adopted here requires véttrima to be gen. pl., while Bb’s reading, adopted by both Skj and Skald, makes it sg.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Sijmons, B. and H. Gering. 1903-31. Die Lieder der Edda. 3 vols. Germanistische Handbibliothek 7/1-5. Halle: Buchhandlung des Waisenhauses.
  5. 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.


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