Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríuvísur III, 21 [Vol. 7, 731-2]

[6] kantil ‘song’: This reading is conjectural. The ON word for Lat. cantilena ‘song’ is kantilia, but kantil could be a colloquial form or shortened because of metrical requirements. Kantil ‘song’ mirrors saung ‘song’ (l. 3), and could have been used because it introduced the Lat. Áve Máría ‘Hail Mary’ (l. 7). Ms. 721 has ‘k̄. til’, a possible abbreviation for konung (m. acc. sg.) ‘king’ plus til (prep. or adv.) ‘to’, which makes no sense in the present context. Konung ‘king’ is otherwise not abbreviated as ‘k̄’ in 721. 1032ˣ has ‘k̄i’ i.e. konungi (m. dat. sg.) ‘king’. Sperber and Kock (NN §1704) resolve the abbreviation as kom (3rd pers. sg. pret. ind.) ‘came’, which is also an unprecedented abbreviation in 721. It looks as though the scribe failed to understand what he was copying.

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