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  • Gold is Red: Sigurðarkviða en skamma 49–50

    Merrill Kaplan, Agneta Eva (E. Agneta) Ney

    Chapter from the book: Wikström af Edholm, K et al. 2019. Myth, Materiality and Lived Religion: In Merovingian and Viking Scandinavia.

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    A moment of literary gold appears in Sigurðarkviða en skamma, as the dying Brynhildr distributes her wealth between the living and her own funeral pyre. She offers riches to those in attendance, but her women reply that enough have died. A closer look at the language involved reveals that the description of jewelry and textiles offered would as aptly apply to slit throats and blood-soaked fabric. The double meaning hinges on Old Norse color semantics. Brynhildr offers not only death but a bloody one, cruelly framed as an act of generosity. It is an artful moment and one that resonates with the fraught nature of gold in the heroic material as a whole.

    A response to the chapter is submitted by Agneta Ney.

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    How to cite this chapter
    Kaplan M. & Ney A. 2019. Gold is Red: Sigurðarkviða en skamma 49–50. In: Wikström af Edholm, K et al (eds.), Myth, Materiality and Lived Religion. Stockholm: Stockholm University Press. DOI: https://doi.org/10.16993/bay.b

    This is an Open Access chapter distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (unless stated otherwise), which permits unrestricted use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Copyright is retained by the author(s).

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    Published on June 3, 2019


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