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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 57. Bjarni byskup Kolbeinsson, Jómsvíkingadrápa, 36 [Vol. 1, 990]

[8] réði … á kaf ‘plunged ... into the sea’: Kaf n. is taken here in the sense ‘sea, the deep’. The phrase could alternatively mean ‘determined on a plunge’ (with kaf in the sense ‘dive, plunge’; cf. Note to ÞjóðA Lv 2/3II). Réði is 3rd pers. sg. pret. subj. of ráða, though indic. rather than subj. would be expected here. It is possible that the subj. communicates a sense that the event is reported tentatively and at second hand, perhaps influenced by l. 3 frák ‘I have heard’. Some eds (Jvs 1879; Skj B; Skald) emend l. 5 ok ‘and’ to áðr ‘before’, which is commonly followed by subj., and they consequentially emend l. 3 áðr to þá ‘then’. However, in the absence of other indicators of corruption, emendation is better avoided.


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