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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Leiðarvísan, 19 [Vol. 7, 157-8]

[4] Móises ‘Moses’: The name must here be disyllabic, as a third syllable, such as we have in 18/2, would render the l. hypermetrical. Kock (NN §3250 and Skald) emends to Móísi, which makes the l. too long. Like OE, ON adopted the Hebrew diphthong (cf. Lat. Mōȳsēs; Goth. and Gk Mōsēs). It is very difficult to ascertain stress and length, which seem to vary according to metrical environment. In Hebrew, the first element of the diphthong is long, but the tokens seem to indicate that internal rhyme could be on both elements of the diphthong, which could be rendered ói or óí (cf. Lat. ōȳ). It could well be that, in its disyllabic form, the name was pronounced ‘Mojses’.

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