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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 44 [Vol. 7, 280]

[7-8] vísi lýðs skyldi ‘the prince of the people should’: 399a-bˣ, Sveinbjörn Egilsson, Skj, and Skald all read víst ‘certainly’ for vísi ‘prince’; the scribe of B appears first to have begun to write ‘vist’ then to have corrected it to ‘visí’ with a heavy accent. Skyldi ‘should’ is 3rd pers. subj., whose subject Skj takes to be an understood hann; this, however, agrees awkwardly with mín (l. 5), hence Skj B translates at han (jeg) skulde ‘that he (I) should’. NN §2332 attempts to improve agreement by arguing that ms. ‘skullde’ simply reflects the later 1st pers. sg. (Icel. skyldi) and should be ‘normalised’ to skylda. Both the awkwardness and emendation are avoided with the reading vísi ‘prince’.


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