Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gsind Hákdr 4I

[1] skyldir ‘the requisitioner’: The agentive skyldir, from skylda ‘to require, exact, oblige’, has few attestations, and emendation to skildir ‘equipper with shields’ has been suggested, as being a natural collocation with expressions for ‘ship’ (Meissner 301). Previous eds have retained skyldir, assuming the general sense ‘controller, steerer’ (Skj B; ÍF 26; Hkr 1991), but a more specific reference is possible, to a naval levy by which the ruler required building or provision of ships as a form of tribute; this would fit with saga evidence that Hákon organised such a levy (Krag 2003b, 189).


  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. Meissner = Meissner, Rudolf. 1921. Die Kenningar der Skalden: Ein Beitrag zur skaldischen Poetik. Rheinische Beiträge und Hülfsbücher zur germanischen Philologie und Volkskunde 1. Bonn and Leipzig: Schroeder. Rpt. 1984. Hildesheim etc.: Olms.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  6. Krag, Claus. 2003b. ‘The Early Unification of Norway’. In Helle 2003, 184-201.


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