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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. Anonymous Poems, 3. Óláfs drápa Tryggvasonar, 20 [Vol. 1, 1051]

[2] hættastr* ‘most hazardous’: The ms. reading ‘hattr’ would be difficult to make sense of, whether it represented hattr m. ‘hat’ or háttr m. ‘mode, custom’; l. 2 in the ms. lacks aðalhending; and the presence of stóð ‘stood’ in both ll. 1 and 2 is most likely a case of dittography. (a) This emendation, suggested by Gullberg (1875), makes good sense of the ms. reading and yields a kenning-like adjectival phrase hættastr hoddum ‘most hazardous to hoards’, for which there is a close parallel (SnSt Ht 99/3III hringum hæztir ‘most hazardous to rings’). (b) Skj B reads hættr ‘hazardous’, leaves stóð ‘stood’ in l. 2 and emends ‘stod’ in l. 1 to skaut ‘shot’. This provides a verb for hrafngreddir ‘raven-feeder [WARRIOR]’ which in the interpretation above is an apposition to the ‘generous man’ kenning, but it gives a less convincing explanation of Bb’s text and assumes that skaut ‘shot’ is intransitive. (c) NN §3127 reads hættr stoðjafnt, where the second (unattested) word is said to mean ‘straight as a pillar’.


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