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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 49. Þormóðr Kolbrúnarskáld (biog. vol. 5), Lausavísur, 16 [Vol. 1, 827]

[5-6, 8] þó emk enn varliga orðinn þrítøgr at mun manna morðs ‘yet I am still barely turned thirty to the satisfaction of men of battle [WARRIORS]’: (a) The reading adopted here broadly follows Kock (NN §2484, followed by ÍF 6 and ÍS), except that þó is taken as an adv. within a main clause rather than a conj. introducing a subordinate clause. The interpretation of at mun manna (morðs) as ‘to the satisfaction of men (of battle)’ originates with Gaertner (1907, 333), who compares at mun banda ‘at the will/pleasure of the gods’ (Eskál Vell 8/2, Edáð Banddr 9/1); cf. also í mun manni ‘after the man’s wishes’ (KormǪ Lv 60/3V (Korm 81)). Its precise meaning in context is not evident, and this seems to have led Finnur Jónsson to emend in Skj B. (b) Skj B reads ‘now’ for þó ‘though’ in l. 5 (with Flat, to avoid the repetition of þó in l. 7), ok ‘and’ for at ‘to’ (with all the mss except Flat), man ‘remember’ for mun ‘satisfaction’ (as suggested by Sveinbjörn Egilsson: a common scribal confusion or variation if it is a verb), and morð ‘killing, battle’ for morðs (with DG8), giving the sense ‘now I am hardly yet turned thirty, and I remember the fall of men’. This gives clearer meaning, but it demands the assumption of some scribal improbabilities. For example, it is difficult to see why the reading should have been altered to þó everywhere but in the otherwise rather unreliable DG8, while the reverse development is not hard to explain. Further, it creates full rhyme in the odd line (though this is paralleled, e.g. in Þorm Lv 3/1V (Fbr 19), Lv 6/3V (Fbr 24) and Lv 8/3V (Fbr 26)).

references

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