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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur, 18 [Vol. 2, 596-7]

[1] ólum ‘we entertained’: While Kock NN §1155 maintains that there is no expression ala jól (and prefers the R702ˣ variant), Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34) claims that it means ‘to feed a person during Christmas’. Contrary to Kock’s idea that Rǫgnvaldr is remembering the Christmases when he enjoyed his kinsman’s hospitality, an active verb seems to be required both by the prep. með ‘with’ (l. 4) and the parallelism with the second helmingr (cf. enn ‘once again’ in l. 5). The idea is that once Rǫgnvaldr and Sǫlmundr used to provide food for Christmas together (note that the saga says that the two men were jafnaldrar ‘of a similar age’, ÍF 34, 130). Now, by contrast, Rǫgnvaldr is providing food for the beasts of battle, an idea which is implicit in this st. but explicit in the closely-related st. 19 below. The full rhyme in an odd l. is the more acceptable given that it also occurs in l. 7.


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