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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, 26 [Vol. 1, 55]

[6] ofsa ‘powerfully’: Ofsa has been interpreted variously: (a) As a p. n. Ofsi/Upsi (Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Yng 1912; Skj B; LP: 1. Upsi). This interpretation requires the reading ok ‘and’ to be selected in l. 8, since it would connect the two place names Ofsa/Upsa and Vestmarir/-marr. The Flat version is to be understood this way. However, a place called Ofsa/Upsa cannot be shown to have existed, and the reading ok creates syntactic difficulties (see Note to l. 8 of Vestmari). (b) Many authors (from Bugge 1871b, 388 to the present edn) instead view ofsa as a noun, ‘with violence, force, tyranny’, hence ‘powerfully’. (c) Because the noun ofsi normally has negative connotations, Noreen (1912a, 15) suggests linking ofsa with the adj. víðri to create a phrase meaning ‘exceedingly far’ which he compares to ofsaharðr ‘exceedingly powerful’, ofsamikill ‘exceedingly large’ and ofsaþrútuligr ‘exceedingly arrogant’. However, these examples are compounds; to read ofsavíðri as a cpd would result in a tmesis, and even to read ofsa víðri as a phrase would split the line ofsa forðum. Either way the result is stylistically untenable for Yt.


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