Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Tindr Hákdr 8I

[1-4]: The helmingr evidently contains a conventional statement that Hákon’s life will be remembered as long as the land is inhabited, and a rel. clause introduced by þess’s ‘(of the one) who’ representing him as feeding the birds of battle, but the detail of the text requires emendation. (a) This edn follows the interpretation proposed by Reichardt (1930, 246-7), which accepted previous emendations of þá (f. sg. acc.) ‘the, that’ for þat and veit ‘know’ for vill in l. 1; Yggs ‘of Yggr <= Óðinn>’ for yngs, Þriðja ‘of Þriði <= Óðinn> for kveðju and man ‘maiden’ for menn in l. 2; and gæfs ‘generous’ for glaum in l. 4. Reichardt posits two kennings, gǫglum Yggs ‘to the geese of Yggr <= Óðinn> [RAVENS]’ and man Þriðja ‘the maiden of Þriði <= Óðinn> [= Jǫrð (jǫrð “land”)’. Other interpretations are, briefly, as follows. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: 2. glær) makes some of the same emendations, and tentatively emends ms. kveðju to hræva ‘of corpses’ and glaum to glæs, hence glæs hræva ‘of the sea of corpses [BLOOD]’. (c) Kock (NN §435) restores most of these ms. readings and explains Yggs kveðju-man as det viv, som hälsas av Odin ‘the woman who is greeted by Óðinn’, putatively a kenning for ‘Jǫrð, land’. The initial demonstrative þat n. in þat vill ǫld (l. 1) ‘people want that’ is explained as introducing an ensuing noun object ævi Hôkunar ‘Hákon’s life’ (l. 4), but the two parallels offered in NN §1911 involve verbs of hearing or learning, whereas vill ‘want’ seems out of place in such a construction and is unexplained by Kock. He treats gǫglum ‘geese’ as an ókend heiti for ‘eagle’, qualified by græum ‘grey’ emended from glaum (NN §§1911C, 2710).


  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. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Reichardt, Konstantin. 1930. ‘Beiträge zur Skaldenforschung’. ANF 46, 32-62, 199-258.


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