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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 49. Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (biog. vol. 5), Lausavísur, 10 [Vol. 1, 823]

[4] merkr ‘of the forest’: This is tantamount to ‘of the land’, forming a stereotypical gold-kenning (see Notes to l. 2 and l. 4 fránǫluns). Finnur Jónsson (LP: 2. mǫrk) analyses merkr as gen. sg. of mǫrk ‘unit of weight’ (so also Finnur Jónsson 1932-3, pointing out that the following prose remarks that the king had promised the skald a ‘mark’ of gold), though in LP: fránǫlunn he takes merkr f. as slange ‘snake, serpent’, and warns that the gen. sg. of mǫrk ‘forest’ appears always to be markar rather than merkr. The latter is not the general view, however (see NN §710B, with references).


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