Eric Bloodaxe - Epithet

Epithet

Eric's soubriquet blóðøx ‘Bloodaxe’ or 'Bloody-axe' is of uncertain origin and context. It is doubtful whether its preservation in two lausavísur by Egill Skallagrímsson and a contemporary skald genuinely dates to the 10th century or had been inserted at some stage when Eric was becoming the focus of legend. There is no guarantee that it significantly predates the 12th-century narrative tradition, where it is first attached to him in Ágrip and in Latin translation as sanguinea securis in the Historia Norwegiæ. The sagas usually explain it as referring to Eric's slaying of his half-brothers in a ruthless struggle to monopolise his rule over Norway. Theodoricus gives the similar nickname fratrum interfector (killer of brothers). Fagrskinna, on the other hand, ascribes it to Eric's violent reputation as a Viking raider.

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Famous quotes containing the word epithet:

    I think I have done well, if I have acquired a new word from a good author; and my business with him is to find my own, though it were only to melt him down into an epithet or an image for daily use.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882)

    The truth is, that common-sense, or thought as it first emerges above the level of the narrowly practical, is deeply imbued with that bad logical quality to which the epithet metaphysical is commonly applied; and nothing can clear it up but a severe course of logic.
    Charles Sanders Peirce (1839–1914)