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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Liðs 4I

[5] á hauðr heiði ‘on … heath’: Both the Flat reading ‘haurd’ (normalised hǫrð f. nom. sg. ‘hard’) and the DG8 reading ‘haudr’ (normalised hauðr n. ‘land’) are difficult to accommodate in the helmingr. (a) Finnur Jónsson in Skj B emends to hjǫrs, hence hríð hjǫrs ‘storm of the sword [BATTLE]’. (b) Kock in Skald and NN §2772 emends to Hǫðs (the battle-god Hǫðr). (c) However, hríð can stand alone in the sense ‘battle’ or ‘onslaught, phase in a battle’ as in st. 5/8 (and cf. Note to Edáð Banddr 6/2), and if it does so here, the readings ‘haudr’ and ‘haurd’ might instead represent the first element in a cpd p. n. *hau(r)ð(r)-heiði, separated by tmesis in order to accommodate the name within regular dróttkvætt metre (cf., e.g., Hfr Óldr 2/7, 8 Heiðabý(r) and Gade 1995a, 214). But whether a p. n. is intended and what name it might represent remains unclear (CPB II, 107; Poole 1987, 287; Townend 1998, 33). (d) The Flat readings ‘er’ (normalised es) and ‘haurd’ (hǫrð) give Áðr es harða hǫrð hríð á heiði; víkingar kníðu ‘Earlier, there is a very hard battle on the heath; vikings pressed on’. Knýja ‘strike, press on’ can be intransitive, and the collocation hǫrð hríð ‘hard battle’ also occurs in sts 5/7, 8 and 6/3, 4; the adv. harða ‘very’ could be normalised to the older form harðla. However, the pres. tense es ‘is’ would be anomalous in this stanza and would sit awkwardly with áðr ‘before’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  5. Gade, Kari Ellen. 1995a. The Structure of Old Norse dróttkvætt Poetry. Islandica 49. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  6. CPB = Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and F. York Powell, eds. 1883. Corpus poeticum boreale: The Poetry of the Old Northern Tongue from the Earliest Times to the Thirteenth Century. 2 vols. Oxford: Clarendon. Rpt. 1965, New York: Russell & Russell.
  7. Poole, Russell. 1987. ‘Skaldic Verse and Anglo-Saxon History: Some Aspects of the Period 1009-1016’. Speculum 62, 265-98.
  8. Townend, Matthew. 1998. English Place-Names in Skaldic Verse. English Place-Name Society extra ser. 1. Nottingham: English Place-Name Society.
  9. Internal references
  10. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 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. 464.
  11. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2012, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Óláfsdrápa 2’ 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. 393.


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