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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 2. Háleygjatal, 9 [Vol. 1, 207]

[4] vals Haddingja ‘of the chosen of the Haddingjar <legendary heroes> [WARRIORS]’: The Haddingjar are legendary, perhaps semi-divine, warrior-aristocrat figures in Swedish, Norwegian and Danish tradition (LP: Haddingi, Haddingjar, Haddingr), sometimes envisaged as a pair of brothers and connected with cultic practices (ARG II, 249, 253; Simek 1993, 127; and see Saxo 2005, I, 1, 8, 12, pp. 122-3). The majority interpretation of this line understands val as n. ‘choice, elite’, hence vals Haddingja is ‘the best of the Haddingjar’ (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; LP: Haddingjar; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991). A further possibility preferred by Bjarni Einarsson (ÍF 29) is valr m. ‘the slain’, hence ‘the corpses of the Haddingjar’.


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