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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 4. Sexstefja, 26 [Vol. 2, 139-40]

[2, 4] vekjandi hjaldrs snekkju ‘the rouser of the warship’s battle [WARRIOR]’: These three words seem to form a single kenning, since although vekjandi hjaldrs ‘rouser of battle’ would be a very natural warrior-kenning, given that the verb vekja takes objects referring to strife, this would leave snekkju unaccounted for. The solution here is also that of Finnur Jónsson in Hkr 1893-1901, IV (recognising the rarity of the expression ‘ship’s battle’), and Skj B, also ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. A variant on it is Kock’s snekkju hjaldrs-vekjandi ‘the warship’s battle-rouser or warrior’ (NN §§1021, 1138). Other alternatives are less satisfactory. (b) Tilgørðir hjaldrs could be taken together in the sense ‘deserving actions in battle’, or hjaldrs could be an adverbial gen. ‘in battle’ qualifying the whole of ll. 3-4, but this would be at odds with the mention of verka ‘poetry’ in l. 1 and would leave vekjandi snekkju ‘rouser of the warship’ as the kenning, which would not quite conform to the usual patterns (cf. Meissner 343, 348). (c) Sœkja, the H, Hr variant on snekkju, does not help, and probably belongs with the many unreliable readings unique to H-Hr.


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