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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 28. Hallfreðr vandræðaskáld Óttarsson, 2. Erfidrápa Óláfs Tryggvasonar, 19 [Vol. 1, 427]

[7] heilalíkn ‘healing mercy’: A hap. leg., which all mss write as two words. The identity of the first element is uncertain. (a) It may be related to the verb heila ‘to heal’, although medial <i> rather than <a> would be expected, cf. heilivágr ‘healing balm’ (Sturl Hákkv 28/7II, and frequently in prose). (b) It may merely be intensifying (Ólafur Halldórsson, ÍF 25), cf. adj. heill ‘whole, complete’, heilmikill ‘very great’. (c) Kock (NN §511) reads heillalíkn ‘fortunate mercy’, with heill f. ‘good luck, whole-making mercy’, as the first element; this produces a regular cpd of gen. pl. noun + noun. Whatever the interpretation, play on ideas of wholeness and health seems fitting given the first helmingr’s portrayal of Óláfr as physically separated (firrðr) from kingdom and subjects.


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