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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Lil 49VII

[1-4]: In skaldic poetics, the repetition of the last word of a l. at the beginning of the following l. is called dunhent ‘echoing rhymed’. See SnSt Ht sts 24, 47, and 48III (SnE 1999, 15, 22-3) and RvHbreiðm Hl sts 57, 58, 65, and 66III (Jón Helgason and Holtsmark 1941, 127-9), but, as Rudolf Meissner says (1922, 52), ‘What a difference between these school-examples and the stanzas of Lilja!’. In Lat. rhetoric, which may be the closer model here, the figure is called anadiplosis or reduplicatio (Lausberg 1998, §619; cf. e.g. the definition given by the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 146] and the brief discussion in TGT 1884-6, I, 94). The ll. also exhibit climax or gradatio: the repeated word occurs first in the pret., and then as perf. participles (Lausberg 1998, §623; cf. e.g. the definitions in the Rhetorica ad Herennium [Marx 1923, 4.25.34] and Augustine’s De Doctrina Christiana [Martin 1962, 123]) and polyptoton, the repetition of a word in various grammatical forms (Lausberg 1998, §§640-8; cf. e.g. the Venerable Bede [Hurst 1975, 150]. See also Laugesen 1966, 297-8, and cf. Lil 55 and 66).


  1. Bibliography
  2. TGT 1884 = Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1884. Den tredje og fjærde grammatiske afhandling i Snorres Edda tilligemed de grammatiske afhandlingers prolog og to andre tillæg. SUGNL 12. Copenhagen: Knudtzon.
  3. Jón Helgason and Anne Holtsmark, eds. 1941. Háttalykill enn forni. BA 1. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  4. Laugesen, Anker Teilgård. 1966. Middelalderlitteraturen: en orientering. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  5. Lausberg, Heinrich. 1998. Handbook of Literary Rhetoric: A Foundation for Literary Study. Trans. Matthew T. Bliss, Annemiek Jansen and David E. Orton. Ed. David E. Orton and R. Dean Anderson. Leiden: Brill.
  6. Martin, Josef, ed. 1962. [S. Augustine of Hippo] De Doctrina Christiana. Aurelii Augustina opera 4, 1. CCSL 32.
  7. Marx, Friedrich, ed. 1923. Rhetorica ad Herennium. De ratione dicendi ad C. Herennium libri IV. Bibliotheca scriptorum Graecorum et Romanorum Teubneriana. Leipzig: Teubner.
  8. SnE 1999 = Snorri Sturluson. 1999. Edda: Háttatal. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. Rpt. with addenda and corrigenda. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  9. Internal references
  10. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1001.
  11. Kari Ellen Gade 2017, ‘(Introduction to) Snorri Sturluson, Háttatal’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1094.
  12. Martin Chase (ed.) 2007, ‘Anonymous Poems, Lilja 55’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 624-6.


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