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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Sigv Lv 3I

[8] blóða linns ‘of the serpent’s brother [SERPENT]’: Blóða ‘brother’ adds nothing to the kenning, just as bróðir adds nothing to bróðir gera ‘brother of the wolf/wolves [WOLF]’ (Anon Krm 16/3VIII in AM 6 folˣ), and brœðr adds nothing semantically to brœðr bergrisa ‘giant’s brothers [GIANTS]’ (Grott 9/7, NK 298). The use of ‘brother’ may serve to mark a change of number in some instances including the Grott example, and blóða here could be regarded as gen. pl. In support of that Meissner 239 has several examples of gen. pl. linna ‘of snakes’ as the determinant of gold-kennings, but on the other hand kennings of this type are at least partly motivated by legends of a lone dragon guarding treasure, notably Fáfnir. At all events, linns must not be thought to refer to an earthworm (as by Jón Skaptason 1983, 312-13); linnr alone may refer to a dragon: see LP: 1. linnr.


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. NK = Neckel, Gustav and Hans Kuhn (1899), eds. 1983. Edda: Die Lieder des Codex Regius nebst verwandten Denkmälern. 2 vols. I: Text. 5th edn. Heidelberg: Winter.
  5. Jón Skaptason. 1983. ‘Material for an Edition and Translation of the Poems of Sigvat Þórðarson, skáld’. Ph.D. thesis. State University of New York at Stony Brook. DAI 44: 3681A.
  6. Internal references
  7. Rory McTurk (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Poems, Krákumál 16’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry in fornaldarsögur. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 8. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 749.
  8. Not published: do not cite ()


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