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 balkat friðland ‘the protected secured land’: Balkat ‘protected’, a n. acc. sg. p. p. of an unattested weak verb *balka ‘surround with a fence, partition’ is a hap. leg. It is not clear why Venice is referred to as ‘the protected secured land’, but in st. 26/8 the city of Jerusalem is also described as tryggða friði ‘secured with peace’, which could imply that Markús imagined these cities as peaceful centres of commerce and worship, surrounded by fortifications. LP: balkaðr takes the p. p. as referring to the Alps (omgivet ... av fjælde, der sigtes vist til Alperne med udtrykket ‘surrounded ... by mountains, the expression appears to refer to the Alps’). According to that interpretation, balkat friðland Fenneyjar is mountainous Italy.
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