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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Eyjólfr Brúnason, Lausavísa, 1 [Vol. 3, 182]

[1-2] allrífum eyri ‘abundant money’: In skaldic poetry the adj. allrífr occurs only here (cf. LP: allrífr), and it was translated by Finnur Jónsson as i rigelig grad tilstede og gærne uddelt, (altså passivt; om penge) ‘plentifully available and gladly distributed (passive meaning; about money)’. In prose texts the adj. rífr means ‘something desirable’ (see Fritzner: rífr), but more often the meaning ‘something acceptable’ can be inferred from the examples given (cf. ONP: rífr). The Old Norse noun derives from Lat. aureus ‘golden’ (a Roman gold coin) and means an ounce (of silver) or ‘money, wealth, coins, currency’ (LP, ONP: eyrir). Since there is no specific information given in this helmingr as to exactly what eyri refers to here, one can only assume that the word denotes ‘money’ in general. Hence the combination of allrífum (m. dat. sg.) and eyri (m. dat. sg.) ‘money’ would indicate the meaning ‘acceptable money’; cf. the example from Skarðsárbók: í gulli ok brendu silfri eðr í rífum aurum ‘in gold and burned silver or in acceptable coins’ (Jakob Benediktsson 1958, 194). However, Finnur Jónssons interpretation fits best in the context of the stanza and is adopted in the present edn.

references

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