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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 13. Eyvindr skáldaspillir Finnsson, 3. Lausavísur, 4 [Vol. 1, 219]

[5] søkkspenni ‘treasure-grasper [RULER]’: The multiplicity of variants has left room for widely varying construals of the kenning, and the sense of -spenni is disputed given that kennings more often denote men as ‘treasure-destroyers’ (i.e. extravagant givers) than as treasure-graspers. (a) Adopted in this edn is Kock’s interpretation of the reading of as søkkspenni (NN §§1057, 1783, followed in ÍF 26, Hkr 1991). On the word søkk, see Note to Eyv Hál 1/10. (b) In Hkr 1893-1901, IV, Finnur Jónsson read svipkenni Njóts (emended from mss njótr) and interpreted it as ‘trier of the uproar of Njótr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE > WARRIOR]’. (c) Subsequently (Skj B) Finnur opted for the reading sólspenni and combined it with ranna and Njóts to obtain a kenning which in Skj B he merely translates kriger ‘warrior’, but which he explains in LP, taking Njótr as a name of Óðinn, his rǫnn ‘halls’ as ‘shields’, their sól ‘sun’ as ‘sword’ and its spennir ‘encircler, grasper’ as ‘warrior’ (LP: njótr 2, rann, sólspennir). (d) Reichardt (1928, 32-3) rejected both of these interpretations, adopting ‘sꜹckspenni’, the (diplomatic) reading of , and construing it as a kenning sǫkspennir ‘encompasser of battle’, i.e. ‘warrior’. He also rejected the emendation of njótr (see Note to ll. 7-8 below). However, the spelling implies <kk>, not <k>. (e) Bjarni Einarsson (ÍF 29), evidently attempting to account for the Fsk readings as they stand, opts for sólspenni ‘sun-destroyer’ and assumes that the other determinants of the kenning have been effaced in transmission. Kock’s solution is preferable to all these, in terms of conformity to recognised kenning types and ability to account for both the spelling with geminated consonant in and the full range of variants in other mss.


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