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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to Arn Magndr 8II

[3] sveið of ôm hræ ‘singed around dark corpses’: (a) Sveið of ‘singed around’ here is supported by a citation for svíða um in Fritzner: svíða 1, and of is assumed to be the prep. of ‘over, around’ (later um). It could alternatively be the expletive particle. The corpses may be dark (m) because stained in blood (cf. Arn Þorfdr 7 í mu blóði Skota ‘in the dark blood of Scots’) or because they were burned. (b) Skj B reads sveið ófm hræ illvirkja ‘burned many evil-doers’ bodies’ (brændte mange ildgærningsmænds legemer), and the same solution is adopted in Skald and Whaley 1998. However, as pointed out in Andersson and Gade (2000, 469), this is unmetrical, and the l. must read sveið of m at Jómi (an A-type l.). Additionally, svíða ‘singe’ when transitive normally takes an acc. object, not dat., and although it would be possible to construe ófm illvirkja ‘not a few evildoer(s)’ as a poss. dat. qualifying n. acc. sg./pl. hræ ‘corpse(s)’ this is the less obvious analysis.


  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. Skald = Kock, Ernst Albin, ed. 1946-50. Den norsk-isländska skaldediktningen. 2 vols. Lund: Gleerup.
  4. Andersson, Theodore M. and Kari Ellen Gade, trans. 2000. Morkinskinna: The Earliest Icelandic Chronicle of the Norwegian Kings (1030-1157). Islandica 51. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press.
  5. Whaley, Diana, ed. and trans. 1998. The Poetry of Arnórr jarlaskáld: An Edition and Study. Westfield Publications in Medieval Studies 8. Turnhout: Brepols.
  6. Fritzner = Fritzner, Johan. 1883-96. Ordbog over det gamle norske sprog. 3 vols. Kristiania (Oslo): Den norske forlagsforening. 4th edn. Rpt. 1973. Oslo etc.: Universitetsforlaget.
  7. Internal references
  8. Diana Whaley (ed.) 2009, ‘Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, Þorfinnsdrápa 7’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 237-8.


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