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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 1. Hákonarmál, 15 [Vol. 1, 189]

[6] séumk ‘fear’: (a) The emendation is adopted by several eds, but the reason for Hákon’s wariness in Óðinn’s hall is uncertain. It may be that he is still resentful about events at Fitjar, or specifically about his treatment by Óðinn, who engineers the deaths of his favoured heroes. Alternatively, Paasche (1916, 14) explains Hákon’s wariness in the context of the assertion of Anon Eirm 6 that his enemy Eiríkr was a more desirable guest to Óðinn than other kings. Others have attributed it to the Christian belief attributed to Hákon in Hkr and Fsk (Du Méril 1839, 160 n. 1; Finnur Jónsson 1904-5a, 60; Jón Helgason 1953, 120; Holm-Olsen 1961b; Frank 1984b, 570; Kreutzer 1999b, 89). Indeed, st. 18 can reasonably be perceived as a resolution to the issue of what it is that is troubling Hákon, if this is what sts 16 and 17 allude to. (b) The non-reflexive sjá(u)m (earlier (u)m) of most of the mss is retained with the sense ‘I am concerned about him’ in Hkr 1991 (cf. Möbius 1860; Jón Helgason 1968). Geijer (1816, 56) must have a similar reading in mind when he takes the line to mean ‘Let’s see how he turns out’, and cf. Cederström 1860, 23: Vi ser på hans sinnelag ‘We observe his disposition’.


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