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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

8. Breta saga 11 (Gunnlaugr Leifsson, Merlínusspá II, 11) [Vol. 8, 144]

[9] man ‘the maiden’: The difficulties raised by this reading have not so far been satisfactorily resolved. This edn follows Kock (NN §1281; Skald) in retaining ms. man (not refreshed), construed as a noun, ‘maiden’, in parallel structure with kona ‘woman’ in l. 7; so too Merl 2012. For the syntax cf. Note to II 10/7. The reading man is also retained in Bret 1848-9, which translates l. 9 as i den hule Haand ‘in the cupped hand’, with a note explaining that this interpretation is prompted by the Latin. No such sense of man is attested (unless an otherwise unknown heiti for ‘hand’ from Lat. manus, Fr. main is to be posited), but a mention of the maiden’s left hand would indeed be expected, so as to complement that of her right hand, as presupposed by both the Latin and l. 5 of the present stanza. Skj B emends to mun, presumably understood as an auxiliary verb with assumed bera.


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