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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Kolbeinn Tumason (biog. vol. 4), Jónsvísur, 3 [Vol. 7, 225-6]

[2] harri sólknarrar ‘lord of the sun-ship [SKY/HEAVEN > = God (= Christ)]’: The ms. reading is sólknarri, which could be interpreted as a nom. form meaning ‘little ship of the sun’ (the form knarri ‘little ship’ is attested as a diminutive of knǫrr ‘ship’, cf. LP: knarri; Skj AI, 333; Arn Hryn 1/2II). However the subject of the sentence Sjalfr ... bundinn ‘himself ... bound’ is harri ‘lord’, referring to Christ. All eds agree that the form sólknarri is an error and emend it to a gen. form sólknarra (gen. sg. or pl. of -knarri, Jón4 1874, 935n., GBpB, 570n.; cf. Konráð Gíslason 1877, 20-1) or sólknarrar (gen. sg. of knǫrr, Skj B; Skald). The emended gen. form is regarded as the determinant in a kenning for Christ. Konráð Gíslason argues that a diminutive form sólknarri ‘little ship of the sun’ is not appropriate as a kenning for heaven (1877, 32) and suggests the emendation to sólknarrar (gen. sg. of sólknǫrr) adopted here.


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