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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 2 [Vol. 1, 249]

[5-8]: The overall sense of the helmingr is clear, but the detail is uncertain. (a) The interpretation above avoids emendation and adopts ráðvandr ‘judicious’ (lit. ‘counsel-careful’), the reading of the main ms. . Rógeisu ‘battle-fire’ is a standard sword-kenning (cf. dolgeisa ‘battle-fire’ in st. 3/1), and vann á Skotlandi is taken to mean ‘attacked Scotland’. (b) Rand-Ullr ‘shield-Ullr <god> [WARRIOR]’ in l. 6 is the reading of all mss except . It is taken in ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991 in apposition with ræsir ‘ruler’. Such apposition is unusual, but a further possiblity would be that rand-Ullr is the subject of sendi in l. 7. ÍF 26 also assumes rógeisa ‘strife-fire’ in l. 6 is a battle-kenning, rather than the expected sword-kenning. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B; LP: rógeisa) takes ræsir rógeisu as a kenning, ‘wielder of strife-fire [SWORD > WARRIOR]’, reads ráðvandr ‘careful in counsel’ in l. 6 and emends sendi ‘sent’ in l. 7 to sendan, hence combining the two clauses with the construction vann sendan, lit. ‘managed to send’. Although this solution is attractive, ræsir is normally a heiti for ‘ruler’, not a base-word in a kenning, and the emendation is unwarranted (cf. Kock, NN §1059).

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