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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 7 [Vol. 1, 87]

[3, 4] svartskyggð sverð ‘black-polished swords’: As Holtsmark (1927, 42-3) assumes, svartskyggð may refer to the special technique of pattern welding, by which sword blades were forged out of two metals, one harder and one softer, which upon polishing yielded varied patterns and gave the sword additional strength and flexibility (see Ypey 1984; Pedersen 2004, 593). Such swords were extremely valuable and were sometimes acquired from abroad.


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