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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 12 [Vol. 2, 221-2]

[7] rýgjar ‘of the troll-woman’: (a) The reading is here taken, as by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson, as rýgjar, gen. sg. of the f. noun meaning ‘mighty woman, ogress’ (ÍF 28, 56-7 n., following Nj 1875-8, II, 518); it forms part of an axe-kenning (cf. Meissner 148) which in turn is determinant to a battle-kenning. (b) An alternative also proposed by Bjarni is that rýgr, again like other words for ‘troll-woman’ or ‘giantess’ (e.g. gnepja and vígglǫð), might be an axe-heiti in itself. Róg rýgjar ‘strife of the axe’ would then be ‘battle’, rógský rýgjar ‘clouds of battle’ would be ‘shields’ and the regn of shields once more ‘battle’. (c) Skj B reads the minority variant ‘rygia’ as acc. pl. of Rygjar (men of Rogaland), hence bað Rygja leggja saman randir ‘asked the Rygjar to set their shields together’. (d) Kock (NN §822) reads Rygja and construes rógskýja ... Rygja regni ‘the Rogalanders’ battle’.


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