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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 1. Hǫfuðlausn, 9 [Vol. 1, 752]

[7, 8] en mǫrg ferð Engla á flótta ‘and many a troop of the English [took] to flight’: (a) The ellipsis of a verb of motion is assumed here, as in Skj B, and mǫrg is construed with ferð Engla, hence ‘many a troop of the English’. This requires complex syntax but provides the most satisfactory subject for the en-clause in l. 8. (b) Kock (NN §1130 anm., followed by ÍF 27) argues that laut ‘bowed down’ should be understood as an instance of apo koinou, participating in both clauses and giving a (somewhat implausible) sense of ‘[bowed down] in flight’ in l. 8. Kock and ÍF 27 assume that landfolk ‘people of the land’ and ferð Engla stand in apposition as joint subjects of the main clause, though they differ in their interpretation of mǫrg ‘many’. Kock takes it as substantival, with the sense ‘a great number’, though m. nom. pl. margir ‘many (men)’ might have been expected in this context. ÍF 27 links mǫrg with an understood repetition of ferð Engla.


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