Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 3. Magnússdrápa, 5 [Vol. 2, 213-15]

[1-2] orðgnótt jarla ‘the lordly wealth of words’: (a) Jarla and orðgnótt, consecutive in the text, are here construed together. Jarla (m. gen. pl.), lit. ‘of jarls’, probably has the adjectival sense ‘lordly, fit for an earl’ (and Kock in NN §818 notes a gen. sg. parallel from Hávm 97). Hofmann (1955, 104) suggests that the generalised sense of jarlar, ‘noblemen’, is influenced by the cognate OE eorlas or OS erlos (b) Jarla could alternatively qualify dróttinn in l. 2, hence ‘lord of jarls’. It would be unusual for Arnórr to arrange the elements of a kenning thus, but not unparalleled. In Arn Þorfdr 24/5-8, for instance, inndróttar ... geymi ‘guardian of his retinue’ is interrupted by þeim hjalpi goð and by Þorfinni which belongs to a different cl.

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