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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Máríudrápa, 40 [Vol. 7, 511-12]

[3] höfuðborg dróttins ‘chief fortress of the Lord’: On the Marian image, see Note to höfuðkastali 1/7-8. The ms. text is difficult. After höfuð the scribe has written ‘hel’, which he has then crossed through, and apparently written another word above the l. This area of the fol. has now crumbled away, and most of the word, except for a final <g>, can no longer be read. The 399a-bˣ transcript confirms, however, that the word was borg. The phrase höfuðborg dróttins is an appropriate appellation for the Virgin. Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) thought (wrongly) that the l. was too long and emended to hátt rann hǫfuðdrottins ‘high house of the chief lord’, in which he was followed by Kock. The l. is metrical, however, with resolution on höfuð in metrical position 3. In addition, dróttinn is uncompounded in surviving Christian verse (this would be the only example), while höfuð-compounds are characteristically used in appellations for the Virgin.


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