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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 57. Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa, 37 [Vol. 1, 991]

[8] langan orm á hringum ‘a long serpent on the rings’: This draws on the tradition that gold-hoards are protected by dragons or serpents, and perhaps specifically on the legend of the Rhine-gold, guarded by Fáfnir; see Guðrún Nordal (2001, 331-2). It is conceivable that the dragon is to be understood as a man – Búi – who has turned himself into a dragon in order to guard the hoard, as Fáfnir did (e.g. SnE 1998, I, 46).


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