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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 57. Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa, 24 [Vol. 1, 980]

[8] nakkvara snertu ‘in a certain short attack’: (a) Snerta in prose means ‘a short stretch of time or place’, i.e. a short time or distance (Fritzner: snerta 1, 2); in poetry it most often means a sharp, relatively short attack, or a whole battle (LP: snerta 1, 2), and the sense ‘attack’ is appropriate here. Nakkvara snertu makes a f. acc. sg. phrase which appears to be quasi-temporal and used adverbially, cf. expressions such as fara dag ok nótt ‘to travel day and night’ (NS §98a). (b) Jvs 1879 notes that the abbreviation at the end of the word is unclear but that the reading is not ‘sinnum’. Fms 11 prints sinnum ‘at times’, dat. pl. of sinn ‘time’; so also Wisén (1870, 82). This is grammatically incompatible with the preceding word nakkvara ‘some, a certain’, which must be m. acc. pl. or f. acc. sg. Sveinbjörn Egilsson’s gloss nokkrum in Fms 12 equates this with dat. pl., but this is doubtful.


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