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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 4VIII (Bret 4) l. 2

ljóðbók — The song-book


ljóðbók (noun f.)


[2] ljóðbók: ljóðborg Hb


[2] ljóðbók ‘song-book’: Emended in this edn from ms. ljóðborg ‘city of song’ (refreshed). Such a cpd would normally be construed as a kenning meaning ‘mouth, chest’ and similar, but the sense required by context is ‘poem’, as posited in Bret 1848-9 and Skj B. Gunnlaugr refers elsewhere to the parts of this poem as bók (I 95/2, II 63/3) or bœkr, the latter collocated with adj. bjartar ‘bright’ (I 96/3-4), corresponding to ljós ‘clear’ here. Cf. ljóðabók ‘book of lays’ (CVC, ONP: ljóðabók). Possibly Latin titles such as Herbert of Bosham’s well-known Liber melorum ‘Book of songs/harmonies’, written shortly after 1186 (cf. Smalley 1973, 79), suggested this expression.



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