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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 2. Knútsdrápa, 4 [Vol. 1, 772]

[3] of heiptir húss ‘on account of the destroyer of the house [FIRE]’: Emendation seems necessary in this line, and no solution is entirely satisfactory. (a) The proposal of Kock (NN §734; Skald, and followed by ÍF 35) is adopted here, namely to emend hús ok to húss of, thus creating a fire-kenning with heiptir (f. acc. pl.) ‘destroyer’, lit. ‘hatreds, hostilities’ (cf. Meissner 100-1), with of as a causal prep. ‘on account of’. Such an emendation creates a parallelism between the two couplets in this helmingr. (b) Skj B and Knýtl 1919-25 emend heiptir to heiptar (hence herkall heiptar ‘a war-cry of destruction’), but retain ms. ok, taking hús ok with byggðir manna in l. 1, hence ‘people’s settlements and houses’. However, herkall heiptar seems somewhat pleonastic, and such syntax seems strained, and out of keeping with Óttarr’s practice in the rest of this poem, where he tends to favour end-stopped two-line clauses.

references

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