Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 1. Magnússflokkr, 18 [Vol. 2, 85-6]

[2] ótvínn ‘unwavering’: The word is somewhat uncommon and the scribes were evidently puzzled, but -tvínn is secured by the rhyme and the sense ‘undivided, unwavering, resolute’ is compatible with the contexts (cf. Konráð Gíslason and Eiríkur Jónsson 1875-1889, II, 376, concluding a thorough discussion; see also Þfisk Lv 2/2 and Steinn Óldr 5/2). The nom. sg. adj. could grammatically qualify either of two subjects. (a) It is assumed here, and by most eds, to qualify jarl in l. 1. Although this may seem too complimentary an epithet for the fleeing enemy Sveinn, there is a nice irony in an enemy who is unwavering about escape. (b) Ótvínn is taken with Magnús by Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901; Fsk 1902-3; Skj B); this is firmly rejected by Kock in NN §854.

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