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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 33 [Vol. 7, 317-18]

[6] náum: Gísli Konráðsson, scribe of 2797ˣ, copied or emended his text as nám, probably recognising that the majority mss’ námi is unmetrical in final position. Even though his reading has support only from 7 mostly unimportant mss, it is likely to be correct, both on metrical grounds, and on grounds of sense. Nám or náum (dat. pl.) ‘corpses’ was adopted as an emendation by Bugge and accepted by Skj B, Skald, Falk, Björn Ólsen and Fidjestøl. The expression verða at nám ‘to become corpses’ occurs in HHund II 28/4: at nám orðnir. If the majority mss’ reading verða at námi is retained, as Njörður Njarðvik does (1991, 67), the sense must be that the second thing the speaker mentions is that sons of men are forced to set about learning (nám n.), a sentiment certainly relevant to the injunction to learn in st. 32.

references

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