Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Hfr ErfÓl 26aI

[3] Norðra niðbyrði ‘the burden of the kin of Norðri <dwarf> [(lit. ‘kin-burden of Norðri’) DWARFS > SKY]’: A reference to the cosmological myth in which the four dwarfs Norðri, Suðri, Austri and Vestri hold up the sky, which is made of the skull of the giant Ymir (SnE 2005, 12, 16). The choice of Norðri is metrically convenient, but also apt; ÍS II, 1232 translates undir norðurhimninum ‘under the northern sky’. This kenning, and features of st. 27, are echoed in Arn Þorfdr 24II: see Note to [All] ad loc.


  1. Bibliography
  2. SnE 2005 = Snorri Sturluson. 2005. Edda: Prologue and Gylfaginning. Ed. Anthony Faulkes. 2nd edn. University College London: Viking Society for Northern Research.
  3. ÍS = Bragi Halldórsson et al., eds. 1987. Íslendinga sögur og þættir. 3 vols. Reykjavík: Svart á hvítu.
  4. Internal references
  5. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 24’ 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, pp. 258-9.


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