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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 40 [Vol. 7, 323]

[4-6]: There are three possible readings of these ll., depending on which of three verbs (leiz, lézk, leysti) is chosen in l. 4. These are: a) máttug hon leiz á marga vegu frá því sem var fyrri ‘mighty it [the sun] appeared in many ways compared with how it was before’; b) máttug hon lézk á marga vegu vegu frá því sem var fyrri ‘mighty it called itself in many ways compared with how it was before’; c) máttug leysti margan / marga frá því sem var fyrri ‘the mighty one released many a person (or ‘many men’) from that which was before’. Although reading b) is found in 166bˣ, in the unnormalised form ‘liest’, this is its only occurrence, and the sun does not speak elsewhere in the sól ek sá-sts. The preferred reading a) appears in 1441ˣ and 2797ˣ, and a number of other mss. Reading c) requires the sun to be personified (which it is not in other sól ek sá-sts), meaning ‘[she] released many a man (or ‘many men’)’, presumably from earthly life. This creates metrical problems: l. 5 then lacks a second lift. The sentiment is comparable with Hsv 80.

references

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