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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, 26a [Vol. 1, 437]

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.


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