Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Pétrsdrápa, 41 [Vol. 7, 832-3]

[6] stríðandi kvíða ‘the fighter against anxiety’: Kock (NN §1743) rejects the contradictory interpretations given in Skj B (where stríðandi is taken as adj. and ll. 5-7 are construed: kummerfuld nærede han den höjeste angstens pine ‘grief-stricken he harboured fear of the greatest agony’) and LP: stríðandi (where bǫls stríðandi is listed as an agent-kenning, though neither Skj A nor B has the emended reading bǫls). Taking stríðandi kvíða as subject and hæst böl as object makes good sense without emendation. Kvíða (see Fritzner: kvíði wk. m. ‘dread, apprehension, anxiety’) may be taken as either gen. or dat. sg. object of stríðandi (see Note to 30/5-6), but since a periphrasis that characterises Peter as ‘an adversary of fear’ is slightly problematic in a st. focusing on his timorous behaviour, the phrase may instead mean ‘fighter against anxiety’ and refer here to Peter’s internal struggle against his own fear.

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