Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eskál Vell 10I

[8] drífu Hôars ‘in the snow-storm of Hárr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE]’: Drífu can be acc., gen. or dat., and previous eds have construed the phrase in various ways. (a) It is understood here and in most eds as being a dat. of location, with the sense ‘in battle’. (b) If the battle is thought of as an equivalent to a period of time, drífu could be a temporal acc., hence ‘at/throughout the battle’ (cf. NS §98). (c) Fms 12 combined hǫlða and drífu Hôars into a kenning, ‘the men of the snow-storm of Hárr [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but hǫlðar cannot form a kenning with drífu Hôars because it is an independent term (so Konráð Gíslason 1895-7, I, 112). (d) Konráð’s own suggestion of combining drífu Hôars with haffaxa ‘of sea-horses [SHIPS]’ to form a kenning for ‘battle at sea’ is unconvincing. (e) Kock (NN §2241) takes drífu Hôars in apposition to veðr Laufa ‘the weather of Laufi <sword> [BATTLE]’, but apposition involving kennings is rare at best.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fms = Sveinbjörn Egilsson et al., eds. 1825-37. Fornmanna sögur eptir gömlum handritum útgefnar að tilhlutun hins norræna fornfræða fèlags. 12 vols. Copenhagen: Popp.
  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. NS = Nygaard, Marius. 1906. Norrøn syntax. Kristiania (Oslo): Aschehoug. Rpt. 1966.
  5. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.


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