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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Þjóð Yt 19I l. 7

hrísungs — of the bastard


hrísungr (noun m.; °dat. -i): [bastard]



[7] heipt hrísungs ‘the hatred of the bastard [STONES]’: (a) Because it is characteristic of Yt that the same circumstance is represented variously in two or three four-line units within a single stanza (see sts 4, 5, 7, 13, 16, 17), one would expect an expression meaning ‘stone-fall, stones’. This is supported by the adj. ofvæg ‘crushing’ which qualifies heipt hrísungs. The kenning is likely to allude, like the stone-kenning in the first helmingr, to the legend of Hamðir and Sǫrli (see Note to ll. 2-3). The brothers consider Erpr a bastard (cf. Hamð 14/7-8) because he is not a son of their mother. Since their murder of Erpr leads to their failure and stoning, the stones can represent ‘the hatred of the bastard’, the half-brother’s revenge. (b) According to HN (2003, 78), Ǫnundr was killed by his half-brother Siwardus (Sigurðr). Some eds (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yt 1925; ÍF 26) have therefore taken heipt hrísungs as a literal reference to human agency, rather than as a kenning.



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