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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, 23 [Vol. 1, 50]

[10] hjá gauzkum jǫfur ‘near the Gautish prince’: Gauzkum has been combined either with jǫfur ‘prince’ or with at vági ‘into the bay’ (see overview in Åkerlund 1939, 113-14). (a) The combination with at vági is contra-indicated both by Yt’s characteristic style of maintaining maximally unitary lines and by the fact that any body of water which might have been called the ‘Gautish Sea’ would be unlikely to be located elsewhere than off Sweden’s west coast, perhaps near the mouth of the Götaälv. (b) Gauzkum must therefore qualify jǫfur, despite difficulties. The prep. hjá ‘near’ governs the dat. case (Fritzner: hjá), which would normally be jǫfri (attested several times in Þjóðólfr’s poetry). It has therefore been suggested (Åkerlund 1939, 114) that this is an alternative dat. form with no ending (see ANG §358.3). As Åkerlund notes, this also fits the metrical scheme better, since jǫfur makes for a flawless Type C2-line. It is unclear why the poet calls the king ‘Gautish’.


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