Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 3. Lausavísur, 2 [Vol. 1, 786]

[6] með himinkrǫptum ‘with heavenly support’: Skj B emends to himinskautum ‘(under) the regions of heaven’, i.e. the whole earth, by analogy with occurrences elsewhere in eddic and skaldic verse (LP: himinskaut). However, the proposed parallels all postdate Óttarr’s work by at least a century and a half, and the reading of DG8 gives perfectly good sense. The second element could be either kraptr ‘power, might’ (compare cognate OE cræft) or krapti ‘timber, pillar’. Kock (NN §3073) argues for the element to be kraptr, with the resultant meaning ‘with heavenly powers’ or ‘with heavenly support’, as here, following ÓHLeg 1982, 131 (mit himmlischen Beistand). Óttarr’s stanza thus makes a bold claim of divine sanction for both the king’s fame and the poet’s praise, a claim in keeping with both the language of the 1027 Letter (which stresses divine omnipotence) and other poems for Knútr (such as the ‘cosmic’ refrains of Sigv Knútdr 3/1 and 7/1, Þloft Hfl, Þloft Tøgdr 1/1, and Hallv Knútdr 8/8: see Note to Þloft Hfl [All]). 


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