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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eyv Hák 15I

[6] séumk ‘fear’: (a) The emendation is adopted by several eds, but the reason for Hákon’s wariness in Óðinn’s hall is uncertain. It may be that he is still resentful about events at Fitjar, or specifically about his treatment by Óðinn, who engineers the deaths of his favoured heroes. Alternatively, Paasche (1916, 14) explains Hákon’s wariness in the context of the assertion of Anon Eirm 6 that his enemy Eiríkr was a more desirable guest to Óðinn than other kings. Others have attributed it to the Christian belief attributed to Hákon in Hkr and Fsk (Du Méril 1839, 160 n. 1; Finnur Jónsson 1904-5a, 60; Jón Helgason 1953, 120; Holm-Olsen 1961b; Frank 1984b, 570; Kreutzer 1999b, 89). Indeed, st. 18 can reasonably be perceived as a resolution to the issue of what it is that is troubling Hákon, if this is what sts 16 and 17 allude to. (b) The non-reflexive sjá(u)m (earlier (u)m) of most of the mss is retained with the sense ‘I am concerned about him’ in Hkr 1991 (cf. Möbius 1860; Jón Helgason 1968). Geijer (1816, 56) must have a similar reading in mind when he takes the line to mean ‘Let’s see how he turns out’, and cf. Cederström 1860, 23: Vi ser på hans sinnelag ‘We observe his disposition’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Jón Helgason. 1953. ‘Norges og Islands digtning’. In Sigurður Nordal 1953a, 3-179.
  3. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  4. Möbius, Theodor. 1860. Edda Sæmundar hins fróða. Mit einem Anhang bisher ungedruckter Gedichte. Leipzig: Hinrichs.
  5. Du Méril, Edélestand. 1839. Histoire de la poésie Scandinave: Prolégomènes. Paris: Brockhaus & Avenarius.
  6. Finnur Jónsson. 1904-5a. Bókmentasaga Íslendinga fram undir siðabót. Copenhagen: S. L. Möller.
  7. Frank, Roberta. 1984b. ‘Eyvindr Finnsson skáldaspillir’. In Strayer 1982-9, IV, 570.
  8. Holm-Olsen, Ludvig. 1961b. ‘Hákonarmál’. KLNM 6, 50-1.
  9. Jón Helgason, ed. 1968. Skjaldevers. 3rd edn. Copenhagen: Munksgaard.
  10. Kreutzer, Gert. 1999b. ‘Valhall – Himmel – Hölle. Das Bild des Königs Hákon Aðalsteinsfóstri in der nordischen Literatur des Mittelalters’. In Andersen 1999, 85-110.
  11. Cederström, Rudolf. 1860. Forsök til tolkning och förklaring af Hákonar-mál. Stockholm: [n. p.].
  12. Geijer, E. G. 1816. ‘Hakonar-Mal. Konung Hakons dödssång. Ofwersättning ur Hakon Adalstens fostres Saga’. Iduna 1, 52-8.
  13. Paasche, Fredrik. 1916. ‘Hákonarmál’. In Til Gerhard Gran, 9 december 1916, fra venner og elever. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug (Nygaard), 10-16.
  14. Internal references
  15. 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].
  16. R. D. Fulk (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Poems, Eiríksmál 6’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 1011.
  17. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘Fagrskinna (Fsk)’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. clix-clxi.


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