Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 2. Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa, 8 [Vol. 2, 192-3]

[4] œri ‘younger’: The ms. readings ‘til landa ærv/mæri’ do not make sense. Konráð Gíslason (1877, 47-8) suggested emending ‘ærv’ to œri ‘younger’, the ancient comp. to ungr ‘young’. Þér in l. 3 is probably a dat. of comparison, and œri would serve very well as the required comparative adj., hence ‘(no other monarch) younger than you’. Magnús would have been about ten at this point (c. 1035), and Arnórr also comments on Magnús’s youth at length in Magndr 1 and 19, and elsewhere in the form of the epithet (barn)ungr ‘(child-)young’. It is likely that the scribes of Flat and Hr (or their predecessors) would have been confused by an original œri, for it is believed to have been replaced by the analogical yngri in everyday usage by c. 1300 (see Jón Helgason 1928, 379-80). Indeed, Arnórr’s is the last skaldic record of the form (here and in Þorfdr 5/7).


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