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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Anon Óldr 8I l. 8

spakr — wise


spakr (adj.): quiet, gentle, wise < margspakr (adj.): sagacious, very wise



[8] margspakr ‘very wise’: Ms. ‘margspaín’, read as margspáinn (Gullberg 1875), would mean ‘much-prophesying’, qualifying mildingr ‘prince’, i.e. Óláfr. However, since prophecy was regarded with suspicion by most Christian writers, this seems unlikely, as does (with slight emendation) margspám vargi ‘to the very foresightful wolf’ (Sveinbjörn Egilsson 1832, 10, 20). The better solution therefore seems emendation to margspakr ‘very wise’ (so Skj B; Skald). The reading ‘spaín’ could have been influenced by the (also corrupt) ‘graín’.



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