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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gsind Hákdr 5I

[1, 2-3] setti … at því fljóði Ónars ‘placed … over that woman of Ónarr <giant> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð “land”)]’: For discussion of forms of the name Ónarr see Finnur Jónsson (1884, 84-5) and Note to Þul Dverga 3/6III. The noun fljóð means ‘woman given to a man’ (see Note to Þul Kvenna I 1/3III), but the few other earth-kennings involving Ónarr refer to earth as his daughter (Meissner 87; ÍF 26). It may be that the variation of base-word from ‘daughter’ to ‘wife’ reflects conflation with earth-kennings based on the idea of ‘Óðinn’s spouse/concubine’. The metaphor of the marriage of ruler to land occurs in other poetry of the late C10th and early C11th (e.g. Eyv Hál 12, Hfr Hákdr 3-6III, Edáð Banddr 3; cf. SnE 1998, I, 158). The language may be purely figurative and conventional (cf. Frank 2007, 177, 190), but it has been regarded as pointing to an ancient rite of hieros gamos ‘sacred marriage’ (Ström 1983; Steinsland 1986b; Steinsland 1991; Steinsland 1992), perhaps even to a revival of such a cult under Hákon góði or more especially under the jarls of Hlaðir (Lade; e.g. Åkerblom 1899a, 271-2). The exact region placed under Tryggvi’s protection is not specified in the stanza. The prose narrative may be correct in mentioning Vík (Viken, the area around Oslofjorden), but Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) suggests that the reference might be to the Danish lands subjugated by Hákon in his campaign. The mention of oak forests would fit best with the Danish islands or the Skåne coast (cf. Price 2000b, 32, map).

References

  1. Bibliography
  2. 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.
  3. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  4. SnE 1998 = Snorri Sturluson. 1998. Edda: Skáldskaparmál. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2 vols. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  5. Finnur Jónsson. 1884. Kritiske studier over en del af de ældste norske og islandske skjaldekvad. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  6. Frank, Roberta. 2007. ‘The Lay of the Land in Skaldic Praise Poetry’. In Glosecki 2007, 175-96.
  7. Steinsland, Gro. 1986b. ‘Giants as Recipients of Cult in the Viking Age?’. In Steinsland 1986a, 212-22.
  8. Steinsland, Gro. 1991. Det hellige bryllup og norrøn kongeideologi. En analyse av hierogami-myten i Skírnismál, Ynglingatal, Háleygjatal og Hyndluljóð. Oslo: Solum.
  9. Steinsland, Gro. 1992. ‘Die mythologische Grundlage für die nordische Königsideologie’. In Beck et al. 1992, 736-51.
  10. Ström, Folke. 1983. ‘Hieros gamos-motivet i Hallfreðr Óttarssons Hákonardrápa och den nordnorska jarlavärdigheten’. ANF 98, 67-79.
  11. Åkerblom, Axel. 1899a. ‘Bidrag til tolkningen af skaldekvad’. ANF 15, 269-73.
  12. Price, Neil. 2000b. ‘The Scandinavian Landscape: People and Environment’. In Fitzhugh et al. 2000, 31-41.
  13. Internal references
  14. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Kvenna heiti 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. 772.
  15. Elena Gurevich (ed.) 2017, ‘Anonymous Þulur, Dverga heiti 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 697.
  16. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyjólfr dáðaskáld, Bandadrápa 3’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 460.
  17. Russell Poole (ed.) 2012, ‘Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, Háleygjatal 12’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 211.
  18. Kate Heslop (ed.) 2017, ‘Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, Hákonardrápa 3’ in Kari Ellen Gade and Edith Marold (eds), Poetry from Treatises on Poetics. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 3. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 218.

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