Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Glúmr Gráf 13I

[All]: The conception of Óðinn inhabiting the warrior is unique (LH I, 526), and leads Fidjestøl (1982, 91) to doubt whether the stanza belongs in a poem about Haraldr, who was nominally Christian, Eiríkr and all his family having been baptised in England, according to Hkr (ÍF 26, 152, 203). Some support for the idea of Haraldr as a devotee of Óðinn may be found in the unique occurrence of the god’s name as the base-word of a kenning in st. 8/2. Further possibilities are that Haraldr is perceived as having an Odinic ferocity in battle, or (Marold 2005a, 127-8) that the reference is to Óðinn possessing not Haraldr, but the one who deals him his death-blow. This would resonate with legends in which Óðinn presides over the death of a hero he has favoured, often claiming him as a sacrifice, but it would imply that the warrior guided by the gods (l. 2) was also Haraldr’s enemy, which seems unlikely in the light of the parallels from Eskál Vell mentioned below.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Fidjestøl, Bjarne. 1982. Det norrøne fyrstediktet. Universitet i Bergen Nordisk institutts skriftserie 11. Øvre Ervik: Alvheim & Eide.
  3. LH = Finnur Jónsson. 1920-4. Den oldnorske og oldislandske litteraturs historie. 3 vols. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Gad.
  4. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  5. Marold, Edith. 2005a. ‘“Archäologie” der Skaldendichtung’. In Seiler 2005, 110-31.
  6. Internal references
  7. Kari Ellen Gade 2009, ‘Heimskringla (Hkr)’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols [check printed volume for citation].
  8. Edith Marold with the assistance of Vivian Busch, Jana Krüger, Ann-Dörte Kyas and Katharina Seidel, translated from German by John Foulks 2012, ‘(Introduction to) Einarr skálaglamm Helgason, Vellekla’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 280.


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