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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 1. Þjóðólfr ór Hvini, 1. Ynglingatal, 20 [Vol. 1, 44]

[15] fyrstr ... frœknu ‘the first, valiantly’: Several interpretations have been suggested for this line. (a) Frœknu is taken here as an adverbial use of the n. dat. sg. adj. (so also NN §3202, ÍF 26 and Hkr 1991). (b) Frœknu has been viewed as an attributive adj. qualifying fjǫrvi, hence ‘courageous life’ (Säve 1854, 61; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B; Yt 1925; NN §1009A Anm.). However, this creates an enjambment from l. 14 to l. 15, leading to a split in l. 15 and thereby to a breach in the style of Yt (Åkerlund 1939, 109-10). (c) Because of this, Wadstein (1895a, 73-4) takes frœknu to be the dat. of an unattested noun frœkna ‘bravery’ and links it to fyrstr, hence ‘first in bravery’. Lindquist (1929, 69), Åkerlund (1939, 109-10) and Wessén (Yng 1952, 73) concur. But such a use of fyrstr is unattested; the word denotes only spatial or temporal sequence (cf. Fritzner: fyrri).


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