Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 8 [Vol. 2, 217]

[3] sveið of ôm hræ ‘singed around dark corpses’: (a) Sveið of ‘singed around’ here is supported by a citation for svíða um in Fritzner: svíða 1, and of is assumed to be the prep. of ‘over, around’ (later um). It could alternatively be the expletive particle. The corpses may be dark (m) because stained in blood (cf. Arn Þorfdr 7 í mu blóði Skota ‘in the dark blood of Scots’) or because they were burned. (b) Skj B reads sveið ófm hræ illvirkja ‘burned many evil-doers’ bodies’ (brændte mange ildgærningsmænds legemer), and the same solution is adopted in Skald and Whaley 1998. However, as pointed out in Andersson and Gade (2000, 469), this is unmetrical, and the l. must read sveið of m at Jómi (an A-type l.). Additionally, svíða ‘singe’ when transitive normally takes an acc. object, not dat., and although it would be possible to construe ófm illvirkja ‘not a few evildoer(s)’ as a poss. dat. qualifying n. acc. sg./pl. hræ ‘corpse(s)’ this is the less obvious analysis.

references

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