Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Ól 7I

[1] guðvefs ‘of sumptuous fabric’: The precise nature of guðvefr is not clear, though the word and its Gmc cognates probably derive ultimately from the Arabic for ‘cotton’ (AEW, ÍO: guðvefr), and it is often translated ‘velvet’ (LP: goðvefr). It was a splendid, expensive, coloured material, used, e.g., for vestments and altar-cloths (Falk 1919, 65). The word is frequent in poetry, especially in woman-kennings. Cf. Anon Vǫlsa 3/2 ok guðvefjar skikkjur ‘and cloaks of precious material’, where guðvefjar is the alternative form of the gen. sg.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  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. ÍO = Ásgeir Blöndal Magnússon. 1989. Íslensk orðsifjabók. Reykjavík: Orðabók Háskólans.
  5. Falk, Hjalmar. 1919. Altwestnordische Kleiderkunde, mit besonderer Berücksichtigung der Terminologie. Videnskapsselskapets Skrifter, II. Hist.-filos. kl. 1918, 3. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  6. Internal references
  7. Wilhelm Heizmann (ed.) 2012, ‘Anonymous Lausavísur, Lausavísur from Vǫlsa þáttr 3’ 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. 1094.


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