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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, 21 [Vol. 1, 689]

[4] á því láni ‘on that allotted land’: Lit. ‘loan, gift’. As Kock points out (NN §2261), því ‘that’ would indicate a concept that has already been mentioned, and that is presumably landi ‘land’ (l. 2). Finnur Jónsson in Skj B translates ved (den ham givne) lykke ‘with the good fortune given to him’. Both Kock and Finnur choose prep. af, but it is the reading of 61 only and they interpret it differently. Sigvatr uses the word lán in Sigv Lv 29/3, where lán goðs ‘God’s gift’ refers to Magnús Óláfsson’s life and rule, and it is possible that the reference is to the Christian notion that the land ruled by an earthly monarch is only a loan from God. Although a connection with lén ‘land held in fief from the king’ is sometimes suggested (e.g. ÍF 27), the latter is a loan word from MHG (AEW: lén) and is not relevant here.

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