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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 37. Sigvatr Þórðarson, 1. Víkingarvísur, 15 [Vol. 1, 554]

[5-8]: Most commentators are agreed that the rel. clause qualifies þann jarl ‘that jarl’, and hence that the praise in the second helmingr refers to Hákon rather than Óláfr. If Hákon is the second best, presumably Óláfr is best, so there is also indirect praise of him. Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901, IV) thought it impossible that Hákon jarl could be praised so highly in a poem about Óláfr, and took the rel. clause to refer to Óláfr, suggesting that the poet had Óláfr Tryggvason in mind as the best ruler.


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