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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Nkt 43II

[1] berfœttr ‘(“Barelegs”)’: He was also known as berleggr ‘Bareleg’ (Ágr, ÍF 29, 42, 47) or berbeinn ‘Bareleg’ (MberfHkr, ÍF 28, 229). Theodoricus (MHN 59) renders the name as berfort and nudipes ‘Barefoot’. According to Snorri, Magnús earned his nickname because he and his men wore short tunics, which was the current fashion in Scotland and Ireland. See MberfHkr (ÍF 28, 229), Power 1986, 122-3 and n. 5, McDougall and McDougall 1998, 105-6 n. 284. Saxo reports that the nickname was bestowed on Magnús after he fled from the people of Halland and left his shoes behind (Saxo 2005, II, 13, 1, 2, pp. 86-7), and an amusing anecdote in The Chronicle of Man relates that, on one of his expeditions to the west, Magnús sent his shoes to the Irish king Muirchertach and told him to wear them on his shoulders in the presence of the Norw. envoys (Munch 1860, 6).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Ágr = [Anonymous] Ágrip af Nóregs konunga sögum.
  3. MHN = Storm, Gustav, ed. 1880. Monumenta historica Norvegiæ: Latinske kildeskrifter til Norges historie i middelalderen. Kristiania (Oslo): Brøgger. Rpt. 1973. Oslo: Aas & Wahl.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  6. McDougall, David and Ian McDougall, trans. 1998. Theodoricus monachus. Historia de antiquitate regum norwagiensium: An Account of the Ancient History of the Norwegian Kings. Viking Society for Northern Research Text Series 11. University College, London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  7. Munch, P. A., ed. 1860. Chronica regvm Manniæ et Insvlarvm: The Chronicle of Man and the Sudreys Edited from the Manuscript Codex in the British Museum and with Historical Notes. Christiania (Oslo): Brøgger & Christie.
  8. Power, Rosemary. 1986. ‘Magnus Bareleg’s Expeditions to the West’. Scottish Historical Review 65, 107-32.
  9. Saxo 2005 = Friis-Jensen, Karsten, ed. 2005. Saxo Grammaticus: Gesta Danorum / Danmarkshistorien. Trans. Peter Zeeberg. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Det danske sprog- og litteraturselskab & Gads forlag.
  10. Theodoricus = Theodrici monachi historia de antiquitate regum Norwagiensium. In MHN 1-68.


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