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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. 38. Óttarr svarti (biog. vol. 1), Óláfsdrápa sœnska, 1 [Vol. 3, 336]

[3] hôttu ‘the forms’: This is the acc. pl. of the noun háttr ‘manner, verse-form, metre’ (as in the title of Háttatal ‘Enumeration of verse-forms’). It seems to be used here as a technical term, self-consciously drawing attention to the poem that will follow – especially, perhaps, in terms of its metrical aspects, as this seems to be the first recorded use of hálfhnept for a royal encomium. Cf. Óttarr’s opening stanza to his Hfl for Óláfr Haraldsson (Ótt Hfl 1/1I).


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