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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

1. 38. Óttarr svarti, 1. Hǫfuðlausn, 13 [Vol. 1, 757]

[4] efldr ríki ‘strengthened with a kingdom’: The phrase is taken here with rúni rekka ‘counsellor of warriors’ (l. 3) as referring to Æthelred. Skj B (followed by Skald) takes it as describing Óláfr, the addressee of komt ‘you brought’ (l. 1), and thus regards the main clause as extending across the entire helmingr, with rúni rekka naut þín at slíku ‘the counsellor of warriors had help from you in this’ as an intercalary clause. Ríki could here have either an abstract sense ‘power’ (so Skj B; ÍF 27 followed by ÍF 35) or a concrete one ‘kingdom’, and the latter is adopted here, as it emphasises Óttarr’s claim that Óláfr restored Æthelred to his land (l. 1). Fsk reads rather ríki framr ‘outstanding in power’.


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