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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Sturla Þórðarson, 3. Hrafnsmál, 14 [Vol. 2, 739]

[6] felli (m. acc. sg.) ‘a slayer’: Lit. ‘feller’. So Konráð Gíslason (1895-7, I, 100-1) and Skj B. Kock (Skald; NN §§1358, 2992D) adopts the Flat variant fellu, which he interprets as an adj. fellu (n. dat. sg.) ‘terrible, unpleasant, bitter’ and connects with gunnspelli (‘by battle-destruction’; l. 6), translated as ‘battle-announcement’ (= hersaga, vígspjall). The problem with that interpretation is the absence of an ON adj. fellr ‘terrible, unpleasant, bitter’ (the Modern Scandinavian adj. that Kock adduces as an example, fæl, fel (‘terrible, unpleasant’, is derived from ON fæla) as well as a confusion between ON spell (n.) ‘destruction’ and spjall (n.) ‘destruction, announcement’.


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