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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr ErfÓl 10I

[4] megin- ‘mighty’: (a) This, the reading of some Hkr mss, provides the best solution to the helmingr’s excess of nominal elements and is adopted here, although, since Heðins is shared by all other ms. groupings, megin may be suspected to be a post-compositional lectio facilior. (b) Another interpretation involving megin yields verkendr meginserkjar baugs ‘workers of the mighty shirt of the ring [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’, but this leaves naddfárs to be accounted for, and the solutions mentioned in the Note to l. 2. are not wholly satisfactory. (c) The majority reading Heðins may be influenced by the occurrence of the name in sts 12/4 (see Note) and 24/3, 4. If correct, it could be accommodated by reading verkendr baugs serkjar Heðins ‘workers of the snake of the shirt of Heðinn <legendary hero> [MAIL-SHIRT > SWORD > WARRIORS]’, following a tentative suggestion by Ólafur Halldórsson in ÍF 25. Baugr m., normally ‘ring’, could be taken to mean ‘snake, coiling creature’ on the basis of its appearance in snake-kennings of the pattern ‘baugr of the earth’ (LP: baugr 1). (d) See SHI for a different interpretation.


  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. SHI = Sveinbjörn Egilsson, ed. 1828-46. Scripta historica islandorum de rebus gestis veterum borealium, latine reddita et apparatu critico instructa, curante Societate regia antiquariorum septentrionalium. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp etc. and London: John & Arthur Arch.
  4. ÍF 25 = Færeyinga saga; Óláfs saga Tryggvasonar eptir Odd munk Snorrason. Ed. Ólafur Halldórsson. 2006.
  5. Internal references
  6. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ 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 [check printed volume for citation].


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