Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Þór Lv 1I

[5-6] rœði ... skelfir * gnap*mar Gylfa ‘the oar ... makes the towering horse of Gylfi <sea-king> [SHIP] shudder’: Line 5 is hypermetric in the mss, necessitating the deletion of two syllables, here á and -i. There are two main possible interpretations, each with rœði ‘oar’ as grammatical subject, but producing different images as to what is shuddering or trembling. (a) The Text above adopts skelfir ‘shakes, makes shudder’, from the verb skelfa, the causative counterpart of skjalfa ‘to tremble’, with gnapmar (acc. sg.) Gylfa ‘towering horse of Gylfi [SHIP]’ as its direct object. (b) Skj B on the other hand reads intransitive skelfr ‘trembles’, 3rd pers. sg. pres. indic. of skjalfa, and takes (gnap)mari (dat. sg.) Gylfa as equivalent to a prepositional phrase; but this involves emending ms. á mar to mari or assuming that endingless mar is dat., which is possible, though uncommon, in an a-stem m. noun at this date (Konráð Gíslason 1892, 224; Finnur Jónsson 1901, 12; ANG §§358.3, 4).


  1. Bibliography
  2. Skj B = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1912-15b. Den norsk-islandske skjaldedigtning. B: Rettet tekst. 2 vols. Copenhagen: Villadsen & Christensen. Rpt. 1973. Copenhagen: Rosenkilde & Bagger.
  3. ANG = Noreen, Adolf. 1923. Altnordische Grammatik I: Altisländische und altnorwegische Grammatik (Laut- und Flexionslehre) unter Berücksichtigung des Urnordischen. 4th edn. Halle: Niemeyer. 1st edn. 1884. 5th unrev. edn. 1970. Tübingen: Niemeyer.
  4. Finnur Jónsson. 1901. Det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog omtr. 800-1300. SUGNL 28. Copenhagen: Møller.
  5. Konráð Gíslason, ed. 1892. Udvalg af oldnordiske skjaldekvad, med anmærkninger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.


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