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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 3. Þorbjǫrn hornklofi, 1. Glymdrápa, 2 [Vol. 1, 78]

[1-4]: No fewer than seven different interpretations have been suggested. Those of Finnur Jónsson (1884, 69-72; Hkr 1893-1901, IV; Skj B) and Eggert Ó. Brím (ÓT 1892, 345) require numerous emendations: Drótt (mss dróttar) hlenna helkannanda (mss ‑kannandi) Þróttar (mss Þróttr) hlymræks gerði (mss gerðisk) jǫru gný glymja of trǫð glamma ferðar ‘the troop of the one condemning thieves to death, cultivating the din of Þróttr <= Óðinn> [BATTLE], made the noise of battle clatter on the path of the pack of wolves [HEATH]’. By contrast, Kock (NN §230), ÍF 26, Holtsmark (1927, 5-8) and Fidjestøl (1982, 76-8) all prefer to avoid emendations. They all share the following assumptions, which have also been accepted in this edn: (1) Gný-Þróttr ‘din-Þróttr <= Óðinn>’ is taken as the subject of the sentence. It is interpreted as a warrior-kenning, though the choice of determinant varies. (2) Helkannandi hlenna ‘condemning thieves to death’ is regarded as qualifying the subject. (3) Trǫð ferðar glamma ‘the path of the pack of wolves’ is understood as a kenning for ‘wilderness, heath, woodland’. The structural pattern of the helmingr, under the interpretation adopted here, closely matches that of st. 1/1-4, as follows: hilmir ‘ruler’ : gny-Þróttr jǫru ‘din-Þróttr <= Óðinn> of battle [WARRIOR]’; réð heyja þrimu hjaldrskíðs ‘commanded that the noise of the battle-plank [SWORD > BATTLE] be launched’: gerðisk glymja ‘made clangour’; á heiði ‘on the heath’: of trǫð ferðar glamma ‘on the path of the pack of wolves [HEATH]’; ey óðr ‘ever furious’: helkannandi ‘condemning … to death’; œskimeiða galdra vébrautar ‘wishing trees of the incantations of the standard-road [BATTLEFIELD > BATTLE > WARRIORS]’: dróttar hlenna hlymrœks ‘the band of thieves of the battle-cultivator’.


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