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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to HSt Rst 10I

[5-7]: This appears to be a self-reflexive comment on the poet’s activity of recounting Óláfr’s achievements, akin to those in st. 23/5-7 or in st. 24/1-3 where the audience are referred to by a kenning for ‘warriors’. More than one construal is possible, however, and the identity of mǫnnum ‘men, people’ is uncertain. (a) This edn follows Kock (NN §1173) in taking mǫnnum ‘men, people’ with mærings ‘of the glorious one, hero’, and eggmóts ‘of the edge-meeting [BATTLE]’ with fremðarverka ‘remarkable achievements’. Eggmóts could have a quasi-adverbial function, ‘in battle’. This gives good sense and straightforward word order. The reference of mǫnnum mærings ‘men/people of the glorious one’ is unclear, though it could be the devotees of Óláfr Tryggvason or conceivably of God, cf. Gamlkan Has 37/6VII firar dróttins ‘men of the Lord [CHRISTIAN PEOPLE]’. (b) This problem is avoided if mǫnnum ‘to men, people’ stands alone and mærings ‘of the glorious one, hero’ is added to the phrase merki fremðarverka mærings eggmóts, hence ‘signs of the hero’s remarkable achievements in battle’; but the phrase is unwieldy and mǫnnum mærings would seem to form a more natural unit. (c) Konráð Gíslason (1895-7) reads mǫnnum eggmóts ‘men of the edge-meeting [BATTLE > WARRIORS]’, but since this does not accord with normal kenning conventions, he suggests that mǫnnum is a corruption of meiðum ‘trees’, which would yield a standard man- or warrior-kenning; this is followed in Skj B and consequentially mærings is combined with fremðar verka, but the emendation is unnecessary.

References

  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. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Konráð Gíslason. 1895-7. Efterladte skrifter. 2 vols. I: Forelæsninger over oldnordiske skjaldekvad. II: Forelæsninger og videnskablige afhandlinger. Copenhagen: Gyldendal.
  5. Internal references
  6. Diana Whaley 2012, ‘(Biography of) Óláfr Tryggvason’ in Diana Whaley (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 1: From Mythical Times to c. 1035. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 1. Turnhout: Brepols, p. 383.
  7. Katrina Attwood (ed.) 2007, ‘Gamli kanóki, Harmsól 37’ in Margaret Clunies Ross (ed.), Poetry on Christian Subjects. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 7. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 105-6.

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