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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Níkulás Bergsson, Jónsdrápa postula, 3 [Vol. 7, 68-9]

[6] vagnbryggju ‘of the wagon-bridge’: That is, bridge of the Great Bear. The constellation Ursa Major ‘Great Bear’ or ‘Big Dipper’ is called vagn ‘Wagon’ in ON ( II, cxlv, 250), cf. the OE name for this constellation, carles wæn ‘wagon of the churl’, later ‘Charles’s Wain’. The word ‘wagon’ is appropriate to the metaphor ‘bridge of the Wagon’ as a kenning for sky or heaven.


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