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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr Hákdr 4III

[1, 4] lætr … glymja of sik ‘makes … ring around him’: This could refer to the mail-shirt jangling when it is put on (so Skj B; SnE 1998, II, 290-1), or when blows are struck against it in battle (so Ohlmarks 1958, 248; Davidson 1983). Alternatively, Marold (2005a, 110-18) suggests that this phrase refers to a specific episode in the battle of Hjǫrungavágr (Liavågen) also described in Tindr Hákdr 1I and 3I, when Hákon’s mail-shirt becomes so badly damaged in the course of the battle that he discards it. Especially given the other echoes of Tindr’s poem in Hfr Hákdr, this is an attractive interpretation, but as parallels can be found for all three motifs, the Translation aims to leave all possibilities open.


  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. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  4. Davidson, Daphne L. 1983. ‘Earl Hákon and his Poets’. D. Phil. thesis. Oxford.
  5. Ohlmarks, Åke. 1958. Tors skalder och Vite-Krists. Trosskiftestidens isländska furstelovskalder, 980-1013. Stockholm: Geber.
  6. Marold, Edith. 2005a. ‘“Archäologie” der Skaldendichtung’. In Seiler 2005, 110-31.
  7. Internal references
  8. Kate Heslop 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 212.
  9. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa 1’ 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. 338.


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