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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, 2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar, 20 [Vol. 1, 429]

[1-2] ôrr oddbragðs ‘the envoy of the point-thrust [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’: The base-word ôrr is particularly appropriate here because of its associations with verbal communication, in what is clearly a warrior-kenning with a kenning for ‘battle’ or a weapon as a determinant. No ms. has oddbragðs, but its constituent elements are represented in the paradosis, and HSt Rst 18/1 has the very similar kenning ærir ǫrbragðs ‘envoys of arrow-thrust’ alongside other echoes from ErfÓl, suggesting that Hallar-Steinn knew a version of this stanza which contained oddbragðs. It is the only acceptable kenning which gives aðalhending (ÓT’s ôrr oddflagðs ‘envoy of the point-trollwife [AXE > WARRIOR]’ lacks close parallels), and bragðs (attested in J1ˣ, J2ˣ) is a plausible starting-point for the readings brags, -flagðs and -braks.


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