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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 4. Þorfinnsdrápa, 22 [Vol. 2, 255-6]

[All]: The st. contains three expressions for a ruler: gramr ‘ruler’ (l. 1), ættstafr Endils ‘kin-stave of Endill <sea-king>’ (ll. 5, 6) and dróttin Hjalta ‘Shetlanders’ lord’ (ll. 7, 8): They must all refer to the same man, and this must be Rǫgnvaldr Brúsason, unless the traditions about the battle of Rauðabjǫrg in Orkn ch. 26 are completely awry. According to the saga, Rǫgnvaldr almost prevails, but is eventually defeated because of the defection of his allies and, far from tightening his hold over Orcadian territory, is obliged to take refuge in Norway. These points, apart from the flight to Norway, are all matched in the st. The necessary emendation of dróttins to dróttin was proposed by Björn Magnússon Ólsen (1909a, 297-8).


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