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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 2. Haraldskvæði (Hrafnsmál), 5 [Vol. 1, 98]

[2] á Kvinnum ‘at Kvinnar’: There is considerable doubt as to the nom. form (Kvinnar f. pl. is assumed), whether this is a p. n., and if so, where the place is. (a) It has been identified (Fsk 1847, 213) with Kvinnherad in Sunnhordland. Von See (1961b, 108) is convinced that a place in Kvinnherad is meant, and Steinnes (1949-51, 384-6) would narrow the location to Omviksdalen. (b) Kvinnum has been taken as a corruption of í Kǫrmtu, in reference to Karmøy in Rogaland, where Haraldr is known to have had an estate at Avaldsnes (Ǫgvaldsnes; so Olsen 1913; Koht 1955, 34, 37; Tveiten 1966, 18). (c) Lie (1956a) asserts rather that the word does not refer to a place (and in any case not a place on land, as this and the following stanza portray Haraldr as a sea-king) but is a scribal error of a common sort for knúum, dat. pl. of masc. knúi. The actual meaning of knúi is not known for certain (Faulkes in SnE 1998, II, 336 gives ‘knuckle’), but it is used as a heiti for ‘ship’ in Þul Skipa 4/1III.


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