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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Bǫlv Hardr 5II

[4] Bláland ‘North Africa’: Lit. ‘land of the dark people’. Usually denotes North Africa (or Ethiopia; see Fritzner: Bláland; Simek 1990a, 156-8, 202-3). In Heimslýsing ok helgifrœði (Hb 1892-6, 165), Bláland is used synonymously with ancient Mauretania (which comprised modern western Algeria and northern Morocco), and it would be more likely that Haraldr proceeded west along the coast of Africa rather than embarking on an expedition to the Red Sea (Ethiopia). See also Þfisk Lv 2/6, Sjórs Lv 3 and Hskv Útkv 1/7.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  3. Hb 1892-6 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1892-6. Hauksbók udgiven efter de Arnamagnæanske håndskrifter no. 371, 544 og 675, 4° samt forskellige papirshåndskrifter. Copenhagen: Det kongelige nordiske oldskrift-selskab.
  4. Simek, Rudolf. 1990a. Altnordische Kosmographie: Studien und Quellen zu Weltbild und Weltbeschreibung in Norwegen und Island vom 12. bis zum 14. Jahrhundert. Ergänzungsbände zum RGA 4. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  5. Internal references
  6. Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Þorgils fiskimaðr, Lausavísur 2’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 334-5.


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