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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, 1. Ynglingatal, 18 [Vol. 1, 40]

[5] ok Ljósham* ‘and Ljóshamr (“the Light-skinned”)’: Emendation is necessary, since the line is too short in the K transcripts (ok ljós) but too long in the J transcripts and LaufE (ok ljóshǫmum). (a) The emendation adopted here produces a cpd that appears to be a nickname of Yngvarr (as proposed by Eggert Ó. Brím 1895, 12-13), an endingless dat. sg. (see LP: hamr) standing in apposition to hilmi ‘the ruler’ (so Noreen, Yt 1925). The nickname is of a common type: a bahuvrihi or exocentric nominal cpd characterising a person by a distinctive feature, cf. blátǫnn ‘Blue-tooth’ or hvítbeinn ‘White-bone’, and evidence that Yngvarr had a nickname based on ljós- ‘light, bright’ is found in HN (2003, 78): Ynguar, qui cognominatus est Canutus ‘Ynguar, who is nicknamed Canutus’. Canutus comes from Lat. canus ‘whitish-gray’ (HN 2003, 137), and cf. Yngvarr’s nickname inn hári ‘Grey-haired’ in the Ættartala in Flat (1860-8, I, 26). Other emendations are less satisfactory. (b) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, I; Skj B) eliminates ok against all the mss. (c) Eggert Ó. Brím’s suggestion (1895, 12-13) of ljóshárum ‘the light-haired’ also goes against the ms. evidence. (d) The more extensive emendation of the line to ok ljóthamr ‘and ugly-skinned’ preferred by Kock (NN §1917) and Åkerlund (1939, 105), conceived as an adj. associated with eistneskr herr ‘Estonian force’, is to be rejected, because it ignores ljós, attested in all mss, and the attestation of Yngvarr’s nickname in HN .


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