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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Gamli kanóki, 1. Harmsól, 41 [Vol. 7, 108-9]

[7] nauðr: B is badly damaged at this point and only ‘…a…dr’ can be read. None of the previous readers of the ms. were able to supply the beginning of the word, though the scribe of the 399a-bˣ transcript read the remainder of the word with confidence as ‘…auðr’. Sveinbjörn Egilsson suggested in a note to Jón Sigurðsson’s copy (444ˣ) that the word might be trauðir m. nom. pl. of trauðr ‘reluctant’, and used the form trauðr in his 1844 edn and in his prose arrangement (preserved in 444ˣ). Kempff and Finnur Jónsson adopted this reconstruction. It is unlikely, however, that the space for the initial letter at the beginning of fol. 13r, l. 21 is sufficient to account for the loss of tr here, and Rydberg (1907, lxxii) and Jón Helgason (1935-6, 259) are agreed that there is space for only one letter before a. Furthermore, as Rydberg (1907, 27 n. 7) notes, in the following l. (fol. 13r, l. 22), the ‘a’ in trauð is abbreviated with the ω-like sign. Rydberg is in no doubt that the traces of the original letter seen by him suggest that nauðr f. ‘need, necessity’ is the correct reading here. He compares the parallel construction in Leið 15/3-4, which reads nauðr er þegnum þýðask þann veg ‘there is a need for men to receive that glory’. Kock adopts this reading (Skald) and it is also adopted here.


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