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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 1. Magnússflokkr, 9 [Vol. 2, 74-5]

[1] skeptiflettum ‘shafted javelins’: This word, unique to this context, seems to be equivalent to flettiskepta (the reading of J2ˣ), and to refer to throwing-weapons with shafts (skepti n. ‘shaft’), but their exact nature is disputed. The shaft may be cloven (flett sundur, ÍF 27, 379 n. 1), with the barbed head or some other attachment set in, as seemingly envisaged in Fritzner: flettiskepta and LP: skeptifletta, and in ÍF 27, 379 n. 1. Falk suggested that the head may anciently have been of stone (flint, 1914, 76-7), and cf. AEW: fletta, which derives fletta from Proto-Scandinavian *flinta-. CVC on the other hand prints skeptiflétta and associates the second element with the verb flétta ‘braid’ and flétta f. ‘braid, string’, suggesting ‘a kind of shaft with a cord’.


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