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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Bǫlverkr Arnórsson, Drápa about Haraldr harðráði, 5 [Vol. 2, 290-1]

[4] Bláland ‘North Africa’: Lit. ‘land of the dark people’. Usually denotes North Africa (or Ethiopia; see Fritzner: Bláland; Simek 1990a, 156-8, 202-3). In Heimslýsing ok helgifrœði (Hb 1892-6, 165), Bláland is used synonymously with ancient Mauretania (which comprised modern western Algeria and northern Morocco), and it would be more likely that Haraldr proceeded west along the coast of Africa rather than embarking on an expedition to the Red Sea (Ethiopia). See also Þfisk Lv 2/6, Sjórs Lv 3 and Hskv Útkv 1/7.


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