Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 2. Hrynhenda, Magnússdrápa, 17 [Vol. 2, 203]

[2] mannkyn ‘race of men’: The translation preserves the full value of both elements, but the context would also admit of the sense ‘men, people’, as also would Arn Hardr 9/7. Hofmann (1955, 102) suggested that the development of meaning from ‘the human race’ to ‘(a limited number of) people, men’ in the ON word points to OE influence, and this seems possible, especially in view of the extreme rarity of mannkyn in the early poetry (see further Whaley 1998, 177-8).


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