Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Þjóðólfr Arnórsson, 4. Sexstefja, 15 [Vol. 2, 127-8]

[7] fannings: This is a major difficulty, though probably a localised one, and the word is left untranslated above. The ms. evidence, the metre and the context point to a m. or n. gen. sg. word or phrase of this form, perhaps with the sense ‘prince’; but no such word is recorded. (a) The root fann- could point to a derivative of fǫnn f. ‘snow(drift)’, but this scarcely helps in this context. (b) Kock adopted the E reading fáfnis, at first taking this as a term for ‘spear’, though without fully accounting for its function in l. 7 (§2031), then as a term for ‘(dragon-)ship’, hence vigra fáfnis ‘the ship’s spears’ (NN §3230, comparing dreki in st. 13/2 and naðr in st. 14/8). This latter solution is adopted in ÍF 28 and Hkr 1991. (c) Finnur Jónsson (Hkr 1893-1901 and Skj B) emends to fylkis ‘prince’s’, as well as unnecessarily splitting l. 7 by taking fylkis with gjǫld Finna ‘the tribute of the Saami’s prince [ARROWS]’ rather than with vigra ‘spears’.


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