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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 15. Glúmr Geirason, 2. Gráfeldardrápa, 8 [Vol. 1, 258]

[4] þjóðum ‘of troops’: The context suggests a military sense here (as also, e.g., in Hfr ErfÓl 14/4, ÞjóðA Lv 11/3II), though ‘people’ is a more usual sense of þjóð. Syntactically, this dat. pl. form is capable of several interpretations. (a) The phrase blóði þjóðum ‘blood of troops’ is assumed here (as in Skj B), as the most natural in both sense and word order. The usage is comparable with the dat. of respect (almost of possession) common with parts of the body (NS §100 Anm. 3), though the gen. pl. þjóða might be expected (cf. manna ‘of men’ and synonyms qualifying blóð ‘blood’, e.g. in Eyv Hák 6/8, Eyv Hál 8/4, Anon Liðs 2/5-6). (b) Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson (ÍF 26) also attaches þjóðum to the subordinate clause, but reads rjóða þjóðum vǫll blóði ‘redden the field with blood for men’. Þjóðum is explained as a type of dativus ethicus, with the sense ‘before men’, i.e. ‘where men fought/stood’. ÍF 29 has the same construal, as does Hkr 1991, though with a different word order. (c) Kock (NN §1061) takes þjóðum as the indirect object of mælti in the main clause, hence ‘addressed forceful words to men’, but mæla e-m e-t normally means ‘to stipulate sth for sby’.


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