Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Gamlkan Has 7VII

[2] djarf*liga ‘boldly, presumptuously’: It is not possible to make sense of B’s reading opt erfiliga ‘often with difficulty’ in this context, and various suggestions for emendation have been made. Finnur Jónsson modifies Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s ofderfilega (1844, adopted by Kempff 1867, 2) to ofderfil*a, hap. leg., which he glosses dristigt ‘boldly, audaciously’ (LP). Kock (NN §2928) suggests ofherfliga ‘very wickedly’, comparing Gamli’s confession of sinful behaviour in 53/3-4 þótt atferðin ór yrði stórum herfilig ‘even though my behaviour were to become very shameful’. Jón Helgason (1935-6, 253-4) observes that the poet often uses phrases with opt, and suggests a further emendation of Finnur’s text to opt derfila ‘often presumptuously’. Since derfila is not otherwise attested, he makes two alternative suggestions: óþerfila ‘useless, inconvenient’ and opt djarfliga ‘often presumptuously’. Although emendation to opt djarfliga necessitates a further emendation, to hvarfa, to satisfy the aðalhending in l. 2, this edn, with Black (1971, 154), follows Jón’s suggestion, on the ground that it preserves B’s opt.


  1. Bibliography
  2. NN = Kock, Ernst Albin. 1923-44. Notationes Norrœnæ: Anteckningar till Edda och skaldediktning. Lunds Universitets årsskrift new ser. 1. 28 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  3. LP = Finnur Jónsson, ed. 1931. Lexicon poeticum antiquæ linguæ septentrionalis: Ordbog over det norsk-islandske skjaldesprog oprindelig forfattet af Sveinbjörn Egilsson. 2nd edn. Copenhagen: Møller.
  4. Black, Elizabeth L. 1971. ‘Harmsól: an edition’. B. Litt. thesis. University of Oxford.
  5. Jón Helgason. 1935-6. ‘Til skjaldedigtningen’. APS 10, 250-64.
  6. Kempff, Hjalmar, ed. 1867. Kaniken Gamles ‘Harmsól’ (Sol i Sorgen): isländskt andligt qväde från medeltiden med öfversättning och förklaringar. Uppsala: Edquist & Berglund.


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