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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 1. Rǫgnvaldsdrápa, 1 [Vol. 2, 178-80]

[1] aldin ‘ancient’: (a) This reading, which has by far the strongest ms. authority, is taken here to be n. acc. pl., qualifying the battles expressed by él þélar grafninga ‘blizzards of the graven shields’ file’. Bjarni Aðalbjarnarson reads it thus, and interprets it as ‘in the ancient manner’ (að fornum hætti, ÍF 27, 440 n.). The battles could alternatively be ‘old’ in the sense of being far in the past, cf. forn in expressions such as forn rǫc ‘ancient (long-past) events’, Lok 25/6 (NK 101). To describe battle as ‘old’ has no skaldic parallel, but the remaining possibilities for analysis of the l. are still less satisfactory. (b) The minority variant aldri, if the shorter form of aldrigi ‘never’, would produce the nonsensical statement that the hero never fought ten battles in Russia (Garðar). (c) For further, rejected possibilities, see Whaley 1998, 139.


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