Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Arnórr jarlaskáld Þórðarson, 4. Þorfinnsdrápa, 20 [Vol. 2, 253-4]

[5] réðusk ‘destroyed each other’: (a) Ráða occurs with the meaning ‘betray’ or ‘seal another’s fate’, often specifically by killing or causing death (see LP: ráða 9), and ráða e-n can mean ‘plot someone’s death’ (Fritzner: ráða 7). The juxtaposition of ráða in this sense with nær ‘almost’ is matched in ÞjóðA Magnfl 15/8. (b) The alternative translation ‘attacked each other’ is suggested by the context and would be supported by idioms with that sense such as ráða(sk) á and ráða til e-s, or expressions where ráðask implies motion, such as ráðask þangat ‘make one’s way there’, ráðask frá ‘leave’.


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