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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þorleikr fagri, Flokkr about Sveinn Úlfsson, 6 [Vol. 2, 317-18]

[6] þarflaust ‘without due cause’: So Skj B (uden skellig grund), whereas Kock (NN §2039) gives the translations till skada för sig själv, olyckligt, i en olycklig stund ‘to his own harm, haplessly, at an ill-fated time’. Because the sacking of Hedeby caused harm to the Danes but not to Haraldr, Kock’s interpretation seems unmotivated. Þarflaust ‘without due cause, without need, unnecessarily’ (see Fritzner: þarflauss) implies that the attack on the town was unprovoked. The very same l. (þarflaust Haraldr austan lit. ‘without due cause Haraldr from the east’) is also found in ÞjóðA Lv 11/4, which he recites at the battle of Stamford Bridge in 1066. Þjóðólfr then uses the same expression to describe Haraldr’s expedition to and attack on England.


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