Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

2. Rǫgnvaldr jarl Kali Kolsson, Lausavísur, 23 [Vol. 2, 600-2]

[5, 6, 8] rístk þenna ǫfundkrók með þunnu barði ‘I cut this enmity-detour [lit. enmity-hook] with a slender prow’: All are agreed that the krókr is the roundabout route taken by Rǫgnvaldr. The word ǫfundr can mean either ‘envy’ or ‘enmity’, likewise as the first element in compounds. While this particular cpd is not recorded elsewhere, ǫfundarkrókr, as defined by Fritzner, seems to have the appropriate meaning: med Kløgt udtænkt eller udført öfundarverk ‘a cunningly devised and carried out öfundarverk’, with the latter defined as a Gjerning hvortil man drives af Had eller Fiendskab ‘a deed to which one is driven by hate or enmity’. Rǫgnvaldr is forced to sail a different, and perhaps riskier, route by his enmity for Eindriði. This interpretation accords with the prose context, as Rǫgnvaldr’s ships then get into difficult weather conditions (see also Note to l. 8, below). Finnur Jónsson (Skj B and LP) and Bibire 1988 interpret ǫfund- as meaning ‘envy’, with the latter relating it to Rǫgnvaldr’s ‘increasingly tense relationship with Eindriði’. In both cases the manoeuvre is supposed to be one that arouses envy, though quite why is not clear. Kock (NN §2067) interprets ǫfund- as ‘hateful’, though it is not clear what his overall interpretation of the st. would be as a result. Finnbogi Guðmundsson (ÍF 34) interprets the cpd as something done to annoy Eindriði, but relates it to an episode in ch. 85, when the fleet was leaving Bergen, rather than the more recent context.

references

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