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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Sól 79VII

[3] níu dætr Njarðar ‘Njǫrðr’s nine daughters’: The only daughter of the sea-god Njǫrðr known by name from ON myth is Freyja. Ægir, a sea-deity like Njǫrðr, is however said to have nine daughters in SnE (1998, I, 36); these are normally regarded as personifications of the waves. It is likely that Ægir and Njǫrðr have been assimilated to one another here. Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 62-3) and Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 105) suggest the daughters are the Deadly Sins, usually thought of as seven in number, but given as nine both in the Alexandreis X, ll. 32-57 (Colker 1978, 254-5) and in Alex (Unger 1848, 152-3). This fits the pagan associations of the number nine elsewhere in the poem. Falk (1914a, 52-3) and Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 61-2) assume that the daughters of Njǫrðr have carved runes on the horn of salvation; Njörður Njarðvík (1991, 105) objects to such pagan lettering on a Christian symbol, while Tate (1985, 1032-3) thinks that the runes of this st. are not carved on the hart’s horn (which would surely carry a Christian message in himna skript ‘heavenly script’), but must be some other runes.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1915a. Sólarljóð: gefin út með skíringum og athugasemdum. Safn til sögu Íslands og íslenzkra bókmenta 5.1. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja Gutenberg.
  3. Colker, Marvin L., ed. 1978. Galteri de Castellione: Alexandreis. Thesaurus mundi 17. Padova: In aedibus Antenoreis.
  4. Unger, C. R., ed. 1848. Alexanders saga. Christiania (Oslo): Feilberg & Landmark.
  5. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  6. Njörður P. Njarðvik, ed. 1991. Sólarljóð. Útgáfa og umfjöllun. Íslensk Rit 10. Reykjavík: Bókmenntafræðistofnun Háskóla Íslands og Menningarsjóður.
  7. Internal references
  8. Edith Marold 2017, ‘Snorra Edda (Prologue, Gylfaginning, Skáldskaparmál)’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].


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