Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Anon Sól 40VII

[2] dreyrstöfum ‘with bloody staves’: For Falk (1914a, 23) these are bloody tokens of the end of the world; for Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 42) they are the red rays of the setting sun, while Paasche (1948, 181) interprets them as the bloody wounds of Christ. Skj B and LP: dreyrstafir suggest the translation ‘bloody runes’ and this may have been the poet’s intended meaning, as later (70/6) he uses the word skript ‘writing’ to refer to angels reading written texts from holy books, presumably in the roman alphabet, while the cpd feiknstafir ‘terrible staves’ (60/6), similar to dreyrstafir, applies to inscriptions on ‘heathen stars’ which appear over the heads of sinners.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  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. Björn Magnússon Ólsen, ed. 1915a. Sólarljóð: gefin út með skíringum og athugasemdum. Safn til sögu Íslands og íslenzkra bókmenta 5.1. Reykjavík: Prentsmiðja Gutenberg.
  5. Falk, Hjalmar, ed. 1914a. Sólarljóð. Videnskapsselskapets skrifter II. Hist.-filos. kl. 7. 2 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Dybwad.
  6. Paasche, Fredrik. 1948. Hedenskap og kristendom: Studier i norrøn middelalder. Oslo: Aschehoug.


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