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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 35. Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa, 2 [Vol. 1, 491]

[6] oddherðir ‘the point-hardener [WARRIOR]’: This cpd is clearly a warrior-kenning, but the mss differ over the determinant. (a) Oddherðir, the reading of the Fsk mss and 510, is adopted here, as in Skj B, Skald and ÍF 29. It follows a warrior-kenning pattern which has herðir as the base-word and a term for ‘battle’ or ‘weapon’ (usually ‘sword’) as the determinant (Meissner 295). (b) Élherðir ‘storm-hardener’ in all other mss is adopted in ÍF 26, on the assumption that él can mean ‘battle’, just as hríð can mean both ‘storm’ and ‘(phase in a) battle’. Élherðir also appears in all mss of Hallm Hallkv 12/6V (Bergb 12) (but is emended in Skj B to oddherðir), and another possible case of él ‘battle’ arises in Ótt Hfl 8/1-4 (see Note). Overall, however, the evidence for él ‘battle’ is sparse, whereas él very frequently combines with a determinant to produce a battle-kenning; the examples include two involving the comparable élherðandi ‘storm-strengthener’ (LP: élherðandi).


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