Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 12II

[1, 2] vǫrðr vagna kjalar ‘guardian of waggons of the keel [SHIPS > SEAFARER]’: (a) The phrase is here taken in apposition to Magnús, as subject to gekk. (b) Alternatively, either vǫrðr vagna kjalar could be an apostrophe (so Hkr 1991), or Magnús could be (so, seemingly, ÍF 28), but it is awkward to assume that Magnús is simultaneously being apostrophised and spoken about in the 3rd pers. (gekk ‘went’ (l. 1)). (c) The variant Kjalars coupled with regna as variant to vagna (as it is in 39 and J2ˣ) could form a battle-kenning, ‘Óðinn’s showers’ (Kjalarr is a name for Óðinn), but a ship-kenning is more likely as the determinant to vǫrðr ‘guardian’, and more likely amidst the nautical imagery of this st. Moreover, regna fails to supply the requisite aðalhending.


  1. Bibliography
  2. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.
  3. Hkr 1991 = Bergljót S. Kristjánsdóttir et al., eds. 1991. Heimskringla. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Mál og menning.


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