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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 14. Þórðr Særeksson (Sjáreksson), 1. Þórálfs drápa Skólmssonar, 2 [Vol. 1, 238]

[6, 7] vanr ótta golls ‘bereft of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN = Gamli Eiríksson]’: (a) The kenning ótti golls ‘terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ is similar to ótti fengins golls ‘the terror of seized gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ in Arn Hryn 16/1, 3II (see also LP: ótti). (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnason (ÍF 26) also adopts the variant vanr ‘bereft of’ but reads vanr ótta á flótta golls ‘bereft of fear of the flight of gold’ (so also ÍF 29). He takes this as a reference to the generosity of Haraldr gráfeldr ‘Grey-cloak’, although, as Bjarni points out (ÍF 26, 191 n.), Haraldr was not known for his munificence (see also Eyv Lv 8-9, 11). A further objection is that the construction ótta á flótta ‘fear of the flight’ is unattested (the prep. should be at and not á; see Fritzner: ótti 1). (c) Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) and Kock (Skald) retain the unmetrical variant ‘valdi’ in place of vanr (l. 6). Skj B reads valdi (m. dat. sg.) ‘ruler’ and construes the unlikely kenning valdi ótta golls ‘the causer of the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN]’ as a dat. object for the verb hefjask upp ‘begin’ (l. 5). Kock (NN §2519; Skald) takes valdi as valði/valdi, 3rd pers. sg. pret. indic. of velja ‘choose’, and suggests the following reading: ótti golls valdi á flótta ‘the terror of gold [GENEROUS MAN] chose to flee’, but the expression velja á flótta ‘choose to flee’ is attested nowhere. Furthermore, the disyllabic valdi makes l. 6 hypermetrical (elision is not possible in this position in a Type A-line), and the reading is not supported by the other ms. witnesses.

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