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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Óldr 1I

[4] hverrar ættar aldar ‘of every family of men’: (a) Although slightly overloaded, this phrase is comparable with other collocations of ætt with a gen. meaning ‘men’, including Hfr Lv 7/1, 3V (Hallfr 10) ǫll ætt aldar ‘the whole family of men’ (and see LP: ætt 2). Coupled with yfirhildingr ‘overlord’, it forms a God-kenning which resembles others designating God as ruler of mankind (Meissner 370, also 372). However, as a determinant which is not itself a kenning, hverrar ættar aldar is unusual, and the whole expression could be regarded as a looser genitival construction rather than a kenning. (b) Gullberg (1875) takes hverrar ættar as gen. object of mætti (dat. of môttr m. ‘power’), so ‘power over every family’, but this is a less compelling expression of divine omnipotence.

References

  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. Gullberg, H., ed. 1875. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar: fragment ur “Bergsboken”. Lund: Berling.
  5. Internal references
  6. Not published: do not cite (Hfr Lv 7V (Hallfr 10))

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