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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 11. Erfidrápa Óláfs helga, 4 [Vol. 1, 670]

[6] herland ‘the people’s land’: This follows the suggestion of Kock (NN §1871) that this is a cpd equivalent to fólkland ‘the people’s land’. This is plausible, particularly in view of the fact that herr can mean ‘population, inhabitants of a country’ (LP: herr 2); and cf. Ótt Hfl 7/3, 4 varða þjóðlǫnd ‘defend the nation’s lands’. (b) ÍF 27, followed by Jón Skaptason (1983) and Hkr 1991, understands it as land, sem verður fyrir hernaði ‘land that is subject to raids’. However, there are no close parallels for such a construction among the large number of nominal compounds in her-. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) treats this as two unconnected words, taking land as the object of verja and her (dat.) as the hostile army against which the land must be defended.


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