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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Lil 84VII

[2] bygð samvizkunnar ‘the seat of conscience’: LP (1860) does not regard this phrase as a kenning. Meissner lists it among the kennings for ‘breast’ (Meissner, 136), and Kock (NN §187) argues that this is the correct interpretation. LP defines it as a kenning for ‘breast’ and refers to Meissner. Kock views the kenning as analogous to the poet’s mention of his burning breast (brjóst svíðir ‘my breast burns’ 76/6; tendrað brjóst ‘burning breast’ 81/4) a few sts earlier, and the theme is certainly the same (cf. also hreinsa brjóst ‘cleanse my heart’ 2/5 and Note). But it is unlikely that the poet intended biological specificity in any of these instances, and Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s approach may still be the best.


  1. Bibliography
  2. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  4. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. LP (1860) = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1860. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis. Copenhagen: Societas Regia antiquariorum septentrionalium.


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