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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 3 [Vol. 1, 251]

[1-4]: Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; see also Fms) avoids the emendation of ms. írskrar þjóðar (see Note to l. 4) by taking rak dolgeisu together to mean ‘waged war, harried’. He sees this as parallel to vann rógeisu ‘made battle-fire, fierce conflict’, i.e. ‘proceeded with fire and the sword’ in st. 2/5 above (ÍF 26, 155 n.). However, dolg and róg both mean ‘battle’, and when compounded with eisa ‘fire’ form a well-attested pattern of sword-kenning (Meissner 150, which includes these two examples). Further, Bjarni’s interpretation leaves gjóðir dísar ‘ospreys of the dís’ as a raven-kenning in which dís, a female being, usually supernatural (LP: dís), signifies ‘valkyrie’ without a determinant. There are no other certain examples of this, and it is more satisfactory to read dolgeisa in the sense ‘sword’ as the determinant of the valkyrie-kenning.

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