Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Glúmr Gráf 3I

[1-4]: Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26; see also Fms) avoids the emendation of ms. írskrar þjóðar (see Note to l. 4) by taking rak dolgeisu together to mean ‘waged war, harried’. He sees this as parallel to vann rógeisu ‘made battle-fire, fierce conflict’, i.e. ‘proceeded with fire and the sword’ in st. 2/5 above (ÍF 26, 155 n.). However, dolg and róg both mean ‘battle’, and when compounded with eisa ‘fire’ form a well-attested pattern of sword-kenning (Meissner 150, which includes these two examples). Further, Bjarni’s interpretation leaves gjóðir dísar ‘ospreys of the dís’ as a raven-kenning in which dís, a female being, usually supernatural (LP: dís), signifies ‘valkyrie’ without a determinant. There are no other certain examples of this, and it is more satisfactory to read dolgeisa in the sense ‘sword’ as the determinant of the valkyrie-kenning.


  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. 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.
  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. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.


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