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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 35. Þórðr Kolbeinsson, Eiríksdrápa, 11 [Vol. 1, 504]

[1-4]: All interpretations share the acc. with inf. construction (frák) lofkennda lofða sendu ... ‘(I have heard) that praise-renowned men sent ...’, where sendu is a past inf., lit. ‘to have sent’ (cf. Note to st. 6/8). However, they vary as to the allocation and construal of the objects and adjunct phrases. (a) The interpretation followed here, which is similar to that of Kock in NN §2922, is syntactically the simplest. Lofkennda lofða (m. acc. pl.) ‘glorious men’ functions as the object of frák ‘I have heard’, and hjarls dróttna ‘of the land of lords’ qualifies hjalmsǫmum hilmi ‘helmet-adorned ruler’, which stands in apposition with jarli ‘jarl’ (cf. NN §§581, 1853C). Possible instances of apposition are rare but not unknown in early skaldic poetry (see, e.g., st. 13/2 below, Eyv Hál 7/1-4 and Notes to these). It could be avoided by taking leyfð jarli together as ‘praise(-poem) for the jarl’. (b) Kock, in NN §581, proposed lofða lofken(n)da hjarls dróttna, translated männens prisade landsherre ‘men’s praised lords of the land’ (with sg. referent, Knútr) as the object of frák ‘I have heard’, but he retracted this in NN §2922. (c) ÍF 27 takes dróttna hjarls ‘lords of the land’ in apposition with lofða lofkennda ‘glorious men’ as the object of frák, in addition to the apposition of hilmi and jarli. (d) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) offers a syntactically counter-intuitive solution with hilmi ‘ruler’ (l. 3) qualified by lofða (m. gen. pl.) ‘of men’ (l. 1), as an adjunct of leyfð ‘praise(-poem)’, hence ‘praise-poem for the ruler of men’. Lofken(n)da ‘praise-renowned’ (l. 2) qualifies dróttna hjarls ‘lords of the land’ (l. 4) as the object of frák ‘I have heard’ and subject of sendu ‘sent’. This is rejected in NN §581 .

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