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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Eskál Vell 31I

[5-6] jǫfra ættrýri ‘the destroyer of the kin of princes [(lit. ‘kin-destroyer of princes’) PRINCES > RULER = Hákon jarl]’: Among the kennings for ‘king, ruler’ is a group which portrays the ruler as the oppressor or destroyer of hersar, jarlar, jǫfrar, harrar or hertogar (various ranks of chieftain or ruler). According to Meissner 359-60 these kennings stem from battles or confrontations with political opponents within a particular country’s hierarchy. By contrast Hkr 1991 interprets the kenning as konungs bani ‘regicide’, presumably with regard to the killing of Haraldr gráfeldr, though Hákon did not carry this out himself (similarly Vell 1865, 90; Hkr 1893-1901, IV).

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. Hkr 1893-1901 = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1893-1901. Heimskringla: Nóregs konunga sǫgur af Snorri Sturluson. 4 vols. SUGNL 23. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.
  5. Vell 1865 = Freudenthal, Axel Olof. 1865. Einar Skålaglams Vellekla / öfversatt och förklarad af Axel Olof Freudenthal. Helsingfors: Frenckell.

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