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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Krm 29VIII

[2]: Although the dísir are represented in Old Icelandic prose texts and some poetry (cf. Egill Lv 4V (Eg 8)) as recipients of periodic sacrifices (dísablót) on the part of households of the pre-Christian period, little concrete information about them is forthcoming from poetic sources. The pl. noun dísir (sg. dís ‘woman, lady’) occurs in poetry often in the sense ‘supernatural female beings, goddesses’ (cf. LT: dís 2), and sometimes almost synonymously with valkyrjur ‘valkyries’, which seems to be the case here. Valkyrjur ‘valkyries’, whose name means ‘choosers of the slain’, were Óðinn’s handmaids whose function was to choose warriors slain in battle for admission to Valhǫll (see further SnE 2005, 30; Eyv Hák 1I and Note there).


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  4. Internal references
  5. Not published: do not cite (Egill Lv 4V (Eg 8))
  6. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Hákonarmál 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. 174.


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