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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to ÞjóðA Magnfl 9II

[1] skeptiflettum ‘shafted javelins’: This word, unique to this context, seems to be equivalent to flettiskepta (the reading of J2ˣ), and to refer to throwing-weapons with shafts (skepti n. ‘shaft’), but their exact nature is disputed. The shaft may be cloven (flett sundur, ÍF 27, 379 n. 1), with the barbed head or some other attachment set in, as seemingly envisaged in Fritzner: flettiskepta and LP: skeptifletta, and in ÍF 27, 379 n. 1. Falk suggested that the head may anciently have been of stone (flint, 1914, 76-7), and cf. AEW: fletta, which derives fletta from Proto-Scandinavian *flinta-. CVC on the other hand prints skeptiflétta and associates the second element with the verb flétta ‘braid’ and flétta f. ‘braid, string’, suggesting ‘a kind of shaft with a cord’.


  1. Bibliography
  2. AEW = Vries, Jan de. 1962. Altnordisches etymologisches Wörterbuch. 2nd rev. edn. Rpt. 1977. Leiden: Brill.
  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. CVC = Cleasby, Richard, Gudbrand Vigfusson [Guðbrandur Vigfússon] and W. A. Craigie. 1957. An Icelandic-English Dictionary. 2nd edn. Oxford: Clarendon.
  5. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  6. ÍF 26-8 = Heimskringla. Ed. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson. 1941-51.


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