Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Edáð Banddr 2I

[1-4]: The stanza depicts a killing which can reasonably be equated with Eiríkr’s killing of Skopti in st. 1, although the antagonists are not identified, and there are interpretative difficulties: alternative readings (F departing from the other mss), alternative editorial construals, and a particular difficulty with Kíar(s) in l. 4. (a) Adopted in this edn is the solution proposed by Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26, followed by Hkr 1991), which involves no emendations, uses the readings, which are supported by mss from both branches of the Hkr stemma, and does not assume unattested usages except for that of Kíarr. The second kenning for ‘generous man’ is taken to refer to Skopti, and qualifies lífi ‘life’. Landmann ‘countryman’ and Kíars ‘of Kíarr’ are taken together as a kenning also designating Skopti (see Note to l. 4). (b) Earlier eds accepted the readings landmens ‘land-torque’ and sanda ‘sands’ from ms. F. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) proposed: Harða ríkr hoddsveigir lét mens Kíar hníga, þás barðisk; brátt lífi sanda landlogreifis, which would give ‘The very mighty man made the leader fall, when he fought; you snatched away the life of the generous man’. Here land- ‘land’ and -mens ‘torque’ are separated: land- is combined via tmesis with logreifis ‘flame-presenter’ and also with sanda ‘of sands’ to form the kenning ‘presenter of the flame of the land of sands [SEA > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN]’; Kíar mens ‘Kíarr of the torque’ forms a further kenning for ‘man’, with the ruler-heiti Kíarr substituting for a god-heiti, which would be normal in this type of kenning. (c) Kock (NN §551) instead posits a gold-kenning log landmens ‘fire of the torque of land [SEA > GOLD]’ and construes sanda as qualifying Kíar, i.e. ‘prince of the sands / of the coast’, parallel to his hersi útvershersir/lord of the fishing-ground’ in st. 1. The kenning log landmens finds support in Glúmr Eir 1III log banda lands ‘flame of the ties of the land [SEA > GOLD]’ (cf. de Vries 1964-7, I, 183). (d) Log landmens, again taken as ‘gold’, could form an extended kenning for ‘generous man’ with ‑reifis ‘presenter’ as the base-word, and the whole qualifying lífi ‘life’, while acc. sg. Kíar could be a heiti for ‘ruler’ and refer to Skopti. However this would leave sanda ‘of the sands’ unaccounted for.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Vries, Jan de. 1964-7. Altnordische Literaturgeschichte. 2 vols. 2nd edn. Grundriss der germanischen Philologie 15-16. Berlin: de Gruyter.
  5. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  6. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  7. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  8. Internal references
  9. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  10. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2017, ‘Glúmr Geirason, Poem about Eiríkr blóðøx 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 194.


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