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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Einarr Skúlason (biog. vol. 2), Geisli, 9 [Vol. 7, 14-15]

[6] vin tyggja rǫðuls ‘friend of the king of the sun [= God > = Óláfr]’: The kenning for Óláfr has associations with both the skaldic and Lat. traditions. The Scriptural amicus Dei ‘friend of God’ (Judith VIII.22; Wisd. VII.27; Jas. II.23), translated as guðs vinr ‘God’s friend’ in ON, became a commonplace in hagiography. In skaldic poetry it was customary to praise a jarl or lesser chieftain by calling him the close friend or confidant of a more powerful man (see Meissner, 362); here Einarr emphasises Óláfr’s closeness to God. Cf. spjalli lausnara ‘confidant of the Saviour’ (30/2) and vinr lausnara ‘friend of the Saviour’ (62/5, 7). The God-kenning tyggi rǫðuls ‘king of the sun’ echoes the sun-imagery of the preceding sts.


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