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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 7 [Vol. 1, 182]

[7] flóð fleina ‘the flood of barbs [BLOOD]’: (a) Reichardt (1930, 51-2) cites convincing parallels to the meaning ‘blood’ (and so, e.g., Geijer 1816, 54, Skj B, Paasche 1916, 13, and Meissner 204). (b) The phrase could be regarded not as a kenning but as a description of a more literal ‘shower of arrows/spears’ (so, e.g., Olsen 1916a, 3-4, Sahlgren 1927-8, I, 75-7, 116, Ulset 1975, 49 and Hkr 1991). Lie (1957, 85) argues that although flóð fleina is a genuine blood-kenning, it is a ‘combined metaphor’ (kombinert metafor) which also refers to the missiles themselves.


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