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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 9 [Vol. 1, 547]

[5] austan ‘from the east’: In the absence of a better solution, this is taken here as qualifying the noun ógnvaldr ‘battle-causer [WARRIOR]’ (so also NN §614, ÍF 27 and LP: austan, with emendation of ógnvaldr to allvaldr). In addressing Óláfr as ‘from the east’, Sigvatr may simply mean ‘from Norway’, from an Icelandic point of view (cf. austmaðr ‘Norwegian’), or else may refer specifically to Óláfr’s early campaigns in the Baltic. The usage is unusual, since austan most often qualifies verbs or full sentences, as in Sigv Knútdr 7/2 frá austan ‘learned [news] from the east’. Finnur Jónsson (see Note to l. 7 below) originally took austan with danskr herr ‘Danish army’, which gives good sense but awkward word order.


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