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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 2 [Vol. 1, 78]

[7] ok ræsinaðr rausnar ‘and the excellent adder of the forecastle [SHIP]’: Based on its form, ræsinaðr must be a cpd of a verb and a noun. A fitting verb is ræsa ‘to impel, set in motion’, and the usage of ræsi- here may be comparable with that in the hap. leg. ræsimaðr (Ljósvetninga saga ch. 21(31), ÍF 10, 105), which refers to a capable, assertive man (who puts things in motion). This derivation is preferable to the one given at LP: rœsinaðr, which links the word to ModNorw. dialect røseleg ‘large, handsome’. Because naðr ‘adder’ alone cannot designate a ship except for Óláfr Tryggvason’s renowned Ormr ‘Serpent’, rausnar ‘of the forecastle’ must be the obligatory determinant of the kenning (for the term rausn see the explanation in Hkr, ÍF 26, 100). It follows that F’s reading ok ‘and’ is to be preferred (so also ÓT 1892, 345; Hkr 1893-1901; Skj B; NN §231; Holtsmark 1927, 24-5), since it can precede the ship-kenning ræsinaðr rausnar, while til ‘to’ in the other mss cannot. In itself, til also makes good sense, forming til rausnar ‘for glory, in splendour’ (so ÍF 26; Fidjestøl 1982, 78; Hkr 1991).


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