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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 4. Poem about Óláfr Tryggvason, 7 [Vol. 1, 1068]

[1] guðvefs ‘of sumptuous fabric’: The precise nature of guðvefr is not clear, though the word and its Gmc cognates probably derive ultimately from the Arabic for ‘cotton’ (AEW, ÍO: guðvefr), and it is often translated ‘velvet’ (LP: goðvefr). It was a splendid, expensive, coloured material, used, e.g., for vestments and altar-cloths (Falk 1919, 65). The word is frequent in poetry, especially in woman-kennings. Cf. Anon Vǫlsa 3/2 ok guðvefjar skikkjur ‘and cloaks of precious material’, where guðvefjar is the alternative form of the gen. sg.


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