Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr Óldr 2I

[5, 6] barklaust birki bǫðserkjar ‘the barkless birches of the battle-shirt [MAIL-SHIRT > WARRIORS]’: Birki n. is a collective noun, hence the sg. refers in this kenning to several warriors. The epithet barklaust ‘barkless’ helps to clarify the referent: not trees but men, but it may also imply that the victorious Óláfr strips the enemy of their armour like a tree of its bark (so ÍF 26; ÍF 29; Hkr 1991). 


  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.
  4. ÍF 29 = Ágrip af Nóregskonunga sǫgum; Fagrskinna—Nóregs konungatal. Ed. Bjarni Einarsson. 1985.


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