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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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Note to stanza

3. Rǫgnvaldr jarl and Hallr Þórarinsson, Háttalykill, 28 [Vol. 3, 1036]

[3-4]: The lines cannot be reconstructed. (a) Following Jón Sigurðsson, Finnur Jónsson (Skj B) supplies the reading [grendi hi]nn er gunni kunni | grið létusk þá [viðnis niðja], i.e. hinn, er kunni gunni, grendi niðja viðnis; grið létusk þá ‘that one, who knew battle, fed the wolf’s relatives, truces were broken then’. (b) As Kock (NN §2072) points out, viðnis niðja ‘the wolf’s relatives’ violates the rule that the last two words in a couplet should have identical endings, and he tentatively suggests Iðja niðja ‘Iði’s (giant’s) relatives’ without making further speculations about the interpretation of the lines. (c) Jón Helgason (Hl 1941) reconstructs the lines as follows: [galdra ke]nnir kunni gunni | grið lestusk þá [Iðja niðja], i.e. kennir galdra niðja Iðja kunni gunni; grið lestusk þá ‘the tester of the incantation of Iði’s <giant’s> relatives [GIANTS > GOLD > GENEROUS MAN] knew battle; truces were broken then’.

references

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