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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Sólarljóð, 25 [Vol. 7, 311-12]

[1-2] mála-dísir dróttins ‘the confidential-dísir of the Lord’: It is not clear whether mála should be regarded as part of a cpd noun, or as a simplex. If the latter (see below), emendation is required. Falk (1914a, 15), Björn M. Ólsen (1915, 36), and Fidejstøl (1979, 42-3) understand mála-dísir as de diser sem taler med Gud ‘the dísir who talk with God’, that is, God’s confidantes; Falk compares málvinr ‘a friend one habitually talks to, a close friend, confidant’ (LP: málvina, málvinr). Skj B, followed by Skald, emends mála to málur acc. pl. (LP: mála ‘confidential female friend’), and construes bið þér dísir, dróttins málur ‘pray to the dísir, the Lord’s confidantes’. The mála-dísir or dróttins málur may be, Falk and Björn M. Ólsen suggest, virgin saints who have an intercessory role. Falk notes that they appear in Visio Tnugdali (Cahill 1983, 104-5), Visio Alberici (Mirra 1932, 99) and Visio Thurkilli (Schmidt 1978, 36), near the throne of God. For Fidjestøl’s and Amory’s views of the syncretic tendencies of Sól, particularly in this st., see Introduction.


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