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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eskál Vell 22I

[4] sjau landrekar ‘seven commanders’: Snorri Sturluson explains the word landreki in Skm (SnE 1998, I, 101) as one who leads a host into the realm of another king or drives a host out of his own realm. However, this implied derivation from reka ‘drive’ is probably wrong (Faulkes, SnE 1998, I, 220), as is the derivation from *landríkr ‘land-ruler’ in LP: landreki. The word more likely derives from rekja ‘to straighten out’ (ÍO: 2 ‑reki; AEW: reki 2) and means ‘commander’, cf. for instance HHund I 32/3. These leaders have been identified either as seven commanders allied with Hákon or as commanders of the two opposing hosts. Their number, seven, is most likely connected to the seven fylki under Hákon’s rule (st. 13), each coming from a different fylki.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  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. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  5. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  6. Internal references
  7. Not published: do not cite (SkmIII)


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