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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Kálfr Hallsson, Kátrínardrápa, 38 [Vol. 7, 954-5]

[1] plátu (f. gen. sg.) ‘harness, plate armour’: Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) emend all mss’ ‘platons’ to plátu; Sperber takes the ms. form as a proper noun and regards Plátons prýðir (which he translates as ‘worshipper of Platon’, i.e. the Greek philosopher Plato, considered as a representative of heathen learning) as a kenning for ‘heathen’.  Pláta occurs elsewhere in poetry only in rímur, as a determinant in man (or warrior)-kennings (e.g. plátu runn ‘bush of armour’ in Friðþjófsrímur II, 13/1(Finnur Jónsson 1905-22, I, 420), a poem Finnur (LH, III, 52) considered likely to be composed by Vitulus vates). Plata f. is attested in prose (ONP word-list: plata; Fritzner: plata 2; Fritzner IV: pláta) and the form ‘Platonis’ occurs in the prose saga of S. Catherine (Unger 1877, 404; Wolf 2003, 126) to refer to Plato the philosopher.


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