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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 54. Hallar-Steinn, 1. Rekstefja, 2 [Vol. 1, 898]

[6] * þeim ..., es átti ‘the ... which he owned’: The range of variants reflects scribal uncertainty, and the role of ms. hann ‘he/him’ (deleted in the Text above) is unclear. Hann is assumed here to be a scribal addition to the verb réð ‘commanded’. Additional, extrametrical pronouns are frequent in the mss and often removed as a routine part of normalisation. For the remainder of the line various possibilities emerge. (a) Þeim, es átti ‘the (fleet) which he owned’ is adopted here (cf. Fms 12, 35, which retains hann), giving a statement that Óláfr commanded the ships he owned. (b) Kock (NN §1169) instead reads þeim es átti ‘for the one who owned [it]’, where the understood ‘it’ refers to brigða miklum ... stóli skipa ‘extremely large fleet of ships’ (ll. 5, 8), and the owner is Valdamarr (Vladimir; see Note to l. 2 above). Although this gives good sense, it produces an unmetrical line, since if þeim belonged to the rel. clause, forming þeim es átti ‘for the one who owned [it]’, es would cliticize onto the fully stressed demonstrative þeim which precedes it, giving þeims, and the line would have only five rather than the necessary six metrical positions. (c) See Note to l. 8, interpretation (b), for a different approach.


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