Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eskál Vell 29I

[7, 8] Týr teinlautar ‘the Týr <god> of the sword-dale [SHIELD > WARRIOR = Hákon jarl]’: The word teinlautar in this kenning has been subject to numerous interpretations. (a) Teinlautar ‘of the sword-dale [SHIELD]’ is assumed here and is one of the explanations considered in LP: teinlaut, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991. One objection to this interpretation is that teinn ‘twig’, though it is often the base-word of a sword-kenning, is not known as a simplex denoting ‘sword’. In favour of it, however, is the similar hjǫrlaut ‘sword-dale’ in st. 30/4 below, and the fact that other solutions are still more problematic. (b) Týr teins lautar tíra ‘the Týr <god> of the twig of the dale of swords [SHIELD > SWORD > WARRIOR]’ (Fms 12; Vell 1865, 84) can be rejected since it requires emendation of týna to tíra. (c) Týr teinlautar ‘the Týr of the dale of the sacrificial twig [SACRIFICIAL BOWL > SACRIFICIAL PRIEST]’ (given as an alternative in LP: teinlaut, ÍF 26, ÍF 29 and Hkr 1991): Here tein- is equated with hlautteinn ‘sacrificial twig’. However, hlautteinn probably did not occur in the sense ‘sacrificial blood twig’ until the C13th; see (d). (d) Týr teinlautar emended to Týr hlautarteins ‘the Týr of the sacrificial blood twig [SACRIFICIAL PRIEST]’: Although the prose context favours this kenning, this interpretation is not tenable, as all mss give ‘lautar’ except for F. Further, the word hlaut assumed here is otherwise always n., with gen. sg. in ‑s not ‑ar, and its original meaning was probably just ‘lot’ (Düwel 1985, 28). The sense ‘sacrificial blood’ appears to have arisen through Snorri as a Christian reinterpretation (Düwel 1985, 32-8).


  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. 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.
  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. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.
  7. Vell 1865 = Freudenthal, Axel Olof. 1865. Einar Skålaglams Vellekla / öfversatt och förklarad af Axel Olof Freudenthal. Helsingfors: Frenckell.
  8. Düwel, Klaus. 1985. Das Opferfest von Lade: Quellenkritische Untersuchungen zur germanischen Religionsgeschichte. Wiener Arbeiten zur germanischen Altertumskunde und Philologie 27. Vienna: Karl M. Halosar.


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