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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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GunnLeif Merl II 4VIII (Bret 4) l. 5

jǫfurr — the leader


jǫfurr (noun m.): ruler, prince



[5] jǫfurr ‘the leader’: There is nothing in DGB to justify reference to Merlin as jǫfurr, a heiti whose attestations relate specifically to leaders and rulers (LP: jǫfurr), but possibly the use of this heiti reflects influence from Geoffrey’s later Vita Merlini, which narrates the life of Merlin Caledonius (also known as Silvestris) (Poole 2014, 23-4). Crick (2011, 70-1) comments that often medieval commentators failed to discriminate between Merlin Caledonius and Merlin Ambrosius, and Merlinian prophecy circulated without precise attribution. For a probable instance of this confusion see Curley (1982, 220); Gunnlaugr might have drawn upon such a commentary. For references to Merlin Caledonius as king see Clarke’s edn of Vita Merlini (1973, 52-3).



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