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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 3. Austrfararvísur, 8 [Vol. 1, 594]

[3] bús Ôstu ‘Ásta’s farm’: (a) The reference seems to be to Ásta, King Óláfr’s mother, and hence to the king’s hospitality. Judging from ÓHLeg (1982, 80-1) she resided by the great lake of Mjǫrs (Mjøsa) in southern Norway, hence on the route that Toll (1924) and Sahlgren (1927-8, I, 181-2) believe Sigvatr took from the north, though Beckman (1934, 214 n. 2) is right that it is not necessary to assume that Sigvatr visited her on this particular journey. (b) Sveinbjörn Egilsson (LP (1860): buss) reads búss/buss in some mss as burs (nom. sg. burr ‘son’), hence ‘I longed for Ásta’s son [Óláfr]’. (c) Ternström (1871, 47) instead reads ástabús ‘loving farmstead’, in reference to desired lodging. The name Ásta may be a fiction (according to de Vries 1932-3, 173, like Ǫlvir in st. 6) chosen only for the ironic implications of its literal meaning.


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