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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Tindr Hákdr 4I

[5-8]: (a) Adopted in this edn is the interpretation of Reichardt (1928, 50-2), followed by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26), where liðs leiðar ‘the army of the fleet’ is treated as an attributive gen. depending on hætting ‘menace, danger’. Ms. meiðar is retained as a pl. form of meiðr ‘tree’, with the verb mætti (3rd pers. pret. subj.) ‘could’ correspondingly a pl. Kennings with this base-word are exceedingly common (cf. LP: meiðr). Other possibilities are as follows. (b) Liðs leiðar could be taken as governing skeiðar, hence ‘warships belonging to the levied army’ (so Fms 12; SHI 11; Jón Þorkelsson 1884, 56). (c) Liðs could be taken with hætting ‘menace for the army’ and leiðar as part of a kenning leiðar hjǫrmeiðir ‘destroyer of the sword-path [(lit. ‘sword-destroyer of the path’) SHIELD > WARRIOR]’ (so Finnur Jónsson 1886b, 333; cf. Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B). However, this entails preferring the reading of 39 and F, meiðir ‘destroyer’, and since hjǫrmeiðir ‘sword-destroyer’ is in itself a standard kenning for ‘warrior’ there is no necessity for kenning inversion and complex word order (as pointed out by Kock, NN §431; cf. Reichardt 1928, 51); Reichardt additionally noted that leið is not elsewhere attested in kennings for ‘shield’. (c) Kock (NN §431) opted for a cpd, with tmesis, of leiðar with skeið, equating this with leiðangrsskip ‘ship obtained through a levy’. He then linked liðs with the verb hrjóða, explaining this as ‘to clear of the army, empty of men’; this solution is rejected by Reichardt (1928, 52). 


  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. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  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. 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.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  7. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  8. Jón Þorkelsson [J. Thorkelsson]. 1884. ‘Bemærkninger til nogle steder i versene i Heimskringla’. Aftryk af oversigt over det kgl. danske videnskabs selskabs forhandlinger 1884. Copenhagen: Luno.
  9. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  10. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1928. Studien zu den Skalden des 9. und 10. Jahrhunderts. Palaestra 159. Leipzig: Mayer & Müller.
  11. Finnur Jónsson. 1886b. ‘Bidrag til en rigtigere forståelse af Tindr Hallkelssons vers’. ÅNOH, 309-68.
  12. Internal references
  13. Russell Poole 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Anonymous, Liðsmannaflokkr’ 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, p. 1014.


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