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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Sól 63VII/5 — Fégjarns ‘Fégjarn’s’

Menn sá ek þá,        er mörgum hlutum
        véltu um annars eign;
flokkum þeir fóru        til Fégjarns borgar
        ok höfðu byrðar af blýi.

Ek sá menn þá, er véltu um eign annars mörgum hlutum; þeir fóru flokkum til borgar Fégjarns ok höfðu byrðar af blýi.

I saw men then, who had defrauded another of property in many things; they travelled in crowds to Fégjarn’s fortress, and carried burdens of lead.


[5] Fégjarns: ‘feyg yarns’ 738ˣ, Fégjarns Fégjarns 167b 6ˣ, ‘fegarins’ 214ˣ


[5] fégjarns (gen. sg.): Lit. ‘eager for money’. Interpreted by all eds as a pers. n. of transparent etymology. Falk (1914a, 41-2) suggests it is a term for Mammon. Cf. Hávm 78’s use of the invented name Fitjungr (Evans 1986, 113). That Fégjarn should possess a fortress where ill-gotten gains are stored is reminiscent of a typical trope of sermon literature. Heito’s Visio Wettini has a sinful monk enclosed within a box of lead inside a castle in Purgatory (Dümmler 1883-4, 270). On avarice cf. in particular Hsv 44; cf also Hsv 22, 73, 96 and 97.



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