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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 19. Tindr Hallkelsson, Hákonardrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 356]

[All]: The helmingr as interpreted here appears to imply that (the people of) Gullmaren will not see their warriors again, since they have fallen far from home (see Note to l. 4 below), but the text is highly problematic. Editors are agreed on the emendation of ms. ‘þrytt’ to þreytt ‘hard-won’ in l. 1 and of ms. gulli (dat. sg.) to golls (gen. sg.) in l. 3. In this edn ms. sendir in l. 2, emended to sendi (3rd sg. pret. indic.) ‘sent’ by previous eds, is retained as the base-word in a kenning sendir golls ‘despatcher of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ and ms. safnaðar in l. 3 is emended to samnaði ‘assembled’. Whether the verb is sendi or samnaði, it belongs in a rel. clause introduced by ms. er (normalised ’s), and this is metrically problematic since subordinate clauses do not normally begin after position 4 in a Type D4/E-line (see Gade 1995a, 88-9). To remove ’s by emendation, however, would produce a main clause that is difficult to accommodate in the helmingr. For the remaining problems, the solutions adopted by Finnur Jónsson in Skj are generally followed. A subject for kenndi ‘saw, recognised’, apparently lacking in the ms. text, is supplied from ‘goðinnar’ in l. 4, emended to Goðmarr ‘Gullmaren’ on the evidence of Jvs. This p. n. is qualified by the phrase fjarri hræum ‘far from the corpses’. The verb kenndi in turn has an object in val (m. acc. sg.) ‘slain’ and an indirect obj. of person benefiting in Þundi ‘Óðinn’ (emended from ms. ‘þrindi’), anticipated ahead of the rel. clause. For the reference to the sacrifice of the slain enemy to Óðinn, cf. Þhorn Harkv 12, Þjsk Hák 1/5, 8 and possibly st. 9/1-2 of this poem. A remaining difficulty is gumna ‘of men’, which seems redundant on any construal but is here tentatively grouped with val ‘slain’, thus lit. ‘slain of men’. Previous scholarship has attempted to solve the same problems in a variety of ways. (a) In his first treatment of this poem Finnur Jónsson (1886b, 354-5) emends ms. hræum (dat. pl.) ‘corpses’ to hræja, taken as the gen. pl. object of kenndi, and construes fjarri ‘far, afar’ as free-standing. These proposals he rescinds in Skj B, where he groups the words hræum gumna ‘with the corpses of men’ together. (b) Kock (NN §438, cf. §303C) proposes emending ms. ‘þrindi’ to Þrœndir ‘people of Trøndelag’, subject of kenndu ‘saw’ (3rd pers. pl. pret. indic., emended from kenndi), so as to avoid Finnur Jónsson’s tripartite division of l. 1. A reference to these people would accord with the statement in Jvs (1879, 64) that they were to be enlisted to resist the invaders. Kock also emends ‘godinnar’ in l. 4 to goðvarr ‘god-reverent’ (see further Note to l. 4). (c) Reichardt (1928, 204) noted that the difficulties of this helmingr had not been satisfactorily resolved, and it remains the case that no analysis is wholly convincing. The syntactic relation of the rel. clause to the rest of the helmingr assumed by all eds is difficult to parallel.

references

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