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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

7. Anonymous Poems, Líknarbraut, 8 [Vol. 7, 238-9]

[7] náð ‘grace’: B, 399a-bˣ nauð. Sveinbjörn Egilsson emends to náð ‘grace’, adopted by Rydberg and here. Salvaging ms. nauð ‘need’ would require a stretched meaning of heita – ‘useful is he (i.e. the poet) who names (i.e. points out)/promises need’ – but this is not very satisfactory. Skj B (followed by Skald), having emended ms. nauð sem to nauðsyn ‘necessity’ construes er nauðsyn heitir to mean ‘as necessity demands’, but no ON dictionary gives ‘demand’ as a meaning for heita. (Despite this emendation in Skj B, LP under nýtr has nýtr es nð sem heitir, i.e., as here, ‘useful, potent is he who promises grace’.) In its theological sense, náð ‘grace’ (otherwise ‘rest, peace’, both of which could also work here) appears rather late in Icel. CVC dates it to C14th, but Fritzner gives some C13th instances. If the emendation is correct, this would be the earliest such use in poetry; cf. Anon Lil 12/4, Kálf Kátr 48/6, EGils Guðkv 28/7IV, Árni Gd 41/4IV, and Anon Vitn 14/4 (nýtar náðir).


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